Speaking in the Dáil today, Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD criticised the Government’s failure to recognise and reward the work done by family carers.
He also said that the change in the vaccine rollout indicates an admission of failure on the part of Government to put in place the systems to prioritise frontline workers.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“Family carers have been through an incredibly difficult year. They have been asked to do more with far less.
“Now, any hope of them being prioritised for the vaccine to protect them and their loved ones are dashed.
“The Government decision to change the vaccine rollout plans at this late stage is an admission of failure to put the systems in place.
“Government have reached the conclusion that they cannot roll out the vaccine in a fair way as agreed because the investments have not been made in the health service.
“Government failed to prepare for the vaccine rollout over the last year, and failed to put the lists together for those groups that are being scrapped.
“Instead of prioritising carers of vulnerable people, especially children who cannot be vaccinated, and frontline workers in education, special education, the disability sector, transport, and the Gardaí, they will now only go on age.
“This also means that workers in our shops and retail, who have been out working right through the pandemic, will also not be prioritised despite their daily risk.
“Many of them are young people with young families, and they have been put to the back of the queue.“And now family carers are being left behind again because not enough was done to ensure a fair rollout.”