Seanad debates

Wednesday, 10 November 2021

Nithe i dtosach suíonna - Commencement Matters

Vaccination Programme

10:30 am

Photo of Garret AhearnGarret Ahearn (Fine Gael) | Oireachtas source

I thank the Minister of State. The question is fairly simple and the Department might be able to respond to it. The key figure I am seeking is how many first doses have been administered since 19 October, as this would give an indication of how many people have been vaccinated since the announcement. How many people took a first dose in the two weeks prior to 19 October, as it would indicate the percentage increase of people who have taken a first dose? This could strengthen the Government's case for how it takes decisions to protect people's lives and people could see the long-term strategy.

The Minister of State is correct in her comments on the opposition to this. She knows where I am from and I must listen to utter rubbish quite a lot in Tipperary from people who go whichever way the wind blows. Some of the comments relate to the decisions we make as a Government to protect people's lives and they are just outrageous. The majority of people do not listen to that rubbish.

I have another suggestion that the Department might consider. We all know places where the process of asking for a digital Covid certificate is done well but identification may not be requested. These certificates may remain for a long time. Has the Department considered the option of photo identification being part of the digital Covid certificate? The majority of pubs and restaurants are seeking these certificates. We encourage those that are not doing so to do it. The photo identification element is important. It would make no difference to the restaurant or bar that must check a certificate in any case but it would discourage people from using fake Covid certificates or certificates from somebody else. More powers should be given to the Garda to fine people rather than bars or restaurants, as this is about discouraging people from using other people's Covid certificates.


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