NB Please see an Open Letter from the Students in question plus Documents from the HSE with the significant Change in Policy
Also below is a link to a Debate between Peadar Tóibín and the Taoiseach on the issue.
Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has met with Medical and Nursing Students who have been told that they cannot complete their College Placements unless they take the Vaccine. An Teachta Tóibín stated;
“Vaccines will play an important role in returning society to some level of normality. It’s likely that the majority of people will take the vaccine. But like any medicine, citizens must have the right to take or refuse the vaccine according to their informed choice. However despite initial assurances by the government that there would be no mandatory vaccinations in Ireland, Nursing and Medical Students in 9 different Higher Education Institutes have contacted me to state that they are being told take the vaccine or say good bye to their career. This is in effect mandatory vaccination and it is yet another u turn in government policy”.
“Remember these are students who just last winter, were used by the HSE to fill the gaps on the front line. These are Students who have already put themselves at risk to help patients. They are looking at a growing list of countries all over the world who are pausing the roll out of the Astra Zeneca Vaccine for their age group due to serious concerns over the safety of that Vaccine. Yet in Ireland they are being told to take this Vaccine or say good bye to their careers”.
“I know of one case a particular student has already had Covid and as such has the antibodies. Forcing this Student to take the vaccine has no medical benefit but is simply a bureaucratic box ticking exercise. Another Student has a medical reason for not taking he vaccine but despite this is being taken off placement. These are Students who are being swabbed on a weekly basis and are willing to take a Rapid Antigen test daily if needs be”.
“I like, the Irish Council for Civil Liberties believe that mandatory vaccination is wrong. It would create a two-tier citizenship. Those with a vaccine passport would be entitled to freedoms and those without, would be denied them. You need to encourage people. Brow beating citizens in terms of Vaccines is proven to be counterproductive. It turns people off and creates resistance. There has been little or no debate in society about mandatory vaccines or vaccine passports. Elected Reps cannot ask questions of Nphet or NIAC who are making these decisions. This is a mistake. There needs to democratic oversight of any decision which discriminates between citizens by affording rights to some citizens and denying rights from others”.