Aontú Leader Peadar Tóibín TD has called on the Government to create specific Vaccination centres for Gardaí, Teachers and SNAs. He has stated;

“There is no good reason that these professions could not receive priority vaccination in parallel to the roll out of the Age Based methodology now being used by the government. There are clear databases for these professions and I am sure that those seeking a vaccine among these cohorts would travel within reason to receive a vaccine. Specific Vaccine Centres for Teachers, Gardaí and SNAs would very quickly administer vaccines to these cohorts”.

“The Government changed from a Risk Based Vaccine Distribution system to an Age Based system because they did not build a centralized database of patients over the last 6 months. Such a database should have existed for years, Covid or no Covid but its need was radically increased with the onset of the pandemic. In the absence of this centralised database has meant to dependence on GP lists and Consultant lists. Some of these were over lapping and others had gaps. This mean that some people, in real need for example patients with Stage 4 Cancer were being bounced between Consultants and GPs in their search for a vaccine”.

“Rather than building the Database the Government just dropped it and has now deprioritized Carers, SNAs, Gardaí and Teacher. There is a massive cost to this for the people who work on the front line. Now a 46 year old person working remotely at home, not in contact with anyone from one day to the next will receive a vaccine at the same time as a 46 year old SNA working with children with Special Needs, or a Garda making arrests at a riot or a Carer on whom another person completely depends. The government’s latest revisions have nothing to do with science, but everything to do with Government inability”.

“This will cost in terms of illness, hospital and ICU admission and possibly death. This costly failure is just another in a lengthening list government failures including Nursing Homes, protection of airports, lack of hospital capacity and all Ireland cooperation. All of these failures has mean the government has had to lean on blanket Lockdown far longer than another EU country with all the drastic costs that this entails”.

“The Taoiseach stated to me in a response in a Dail debate, that its not what you do that is the threat, but your age. This after a whole year where the government discounted age and constructed restrictions on the basis of actions and movement. Up to now the government has stated that there are two threats; there is the threat to the individual health and life and there is a threat of the illness spreading and therefore putting pressure on the health service. It’s the latter threat that has been the cause of the Lockdowns according to the government. Yet promises made to those who are most exposed in terms of their actions and movement are being reneged upon”.