Health Minister should make Assembly statement on health worker vaccination requirement consultation, says Bradshaw

COVID-19 Health Paula Bradshaw Vaccines

The Health Minister should make a statement to the Assembly on the consultation on a COVID-19 vaccination requirement for those entering the health and social care workforce, in order to be questioned on the matter, Alliance Health spokesperson Paula Bradshaw MLA has said.

The South Belfast MLA was speaking after Robin Swann announced the launch of the consultation into the proposed scheme, which could include all new staff and anyone who moves job within the health system, as well as agency workers.

“I am pleased to see a consultation will now proceed on the potential for a vaccination requirement among those entering the health and social care workforce,” said Ms Bradshaw.

“However, the ongoing delays with the booster programme, the low rate of vaccination among younger people and the decision to restrict the consultation only to those entering the workforce all raise questions about prioritisation of vaccination about which there should be a full and informed debate.

“It is now months since the First, deputy First or Health Minister provided a media briefing or a sit-down interview on the handling of the pandemic, with now a hundred people a fortnight still dying with COVID-19 in Northern Ireland alone.

“We need much more clarity urgently about why certain areas are being prioritised for action and why the vaccination programme is proceeding on such a limited basis. I would urge the Minister to make a statement to the Assembly to enable questions to be asked around these issues, as well as around ongoing winter preparations.”