Thursday, 29 April 2021
Covid-19, Mental Health and Older People: Statements
I have two and a half minutes to speak and I will use one minute for questions and the Minister of State might use the remaining time to reply, please. I asked the Minister, Deputy Donnelly, this question last week and he promised to come back to me but never did and perhaps the Minister of State may have the answer. If a person is over 60 years of age and is offered the AstraZeneca vaccine and the person’s family has a history of clotting - so many people in the Minister of State’s constituency as well as my own are seriously concerned about this - the person may refuse to take the vaccine. He or she may genuinely want a vaccine but refuse to take the AstraZeneca one. The Tánaiste said that such people will be put at the bottom of the list. Is this a fact or not?
Second, as to people with Parkinson’s disease, in a zoom call with the Parkinson’s Association of Ireland, it stated that it is greatly worried and upset that this illness is not categorised in a more serious manner. Many of these sufferers are young. Can these sufferers be brought up the list for vaccines?
Regarding those over 60 years who are accepting that they have no choice but to use the AstraZeneca vaccine, some will be able to get it in the next number of days but will have to wait 16 weeks for the second jab. Some of these people have not seen their grandchildren for well over a year and are very upset as they were hoping, like those getting the Pfizer vaccine, they might be vaccinated within a month. Is it possible to push that 16 weeks into a five, six, seven or eight week period? I ask that the Minister of State might answer those questions.