Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has expressed concern at the Minister for Health’s lack of clarity and knowledge of detail in recent Dáil and media appearances.
Teachta Cullinane said that the Minister’s performance has been underwhelming and is undermining confidence in the vaccine rollout.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The lack of clarity from the Minister for Health is highly disconcerting.
“His lack of knowledge of detail and the lack of clarity in his statements is undermining confidence in the vaccine rollout.
“Commitments were made that we would administer 250,000 vaccines a week this month, but that has been missed.
“Mass vaccination centres were to be operational this month, but now the Minister is saying they won’t be at full-tilt until June.
“The Minister’s approach displays a lack of urgency and has been very underwhelming.
“There has been a lack of transparency or up-to-date information, and when it is provided, the Minister is not across it.
“When can we expect mass vaccination centres to be fully operational? When will we meet and surpass 250,000 vaccinations a week?
“There seems to be no clear plan and no clear timeframes, when these are the basics you would expect.
“We also need clarity now from the Minister and the HSE on the impact of the recent NIAC decision for the AstraZeneca vaccine on the rollout.
“As NPHET caution about a fourth wave and as restrictions are eased, it is vital that the Minister for Health is on top of the detail and effectively communicating it.
“This vaccine was sold as a gamechanger for the rollout, so it is disappointing to learn how limited its safe application is.
“There needs to be clarity on how this affects targets and how operational plans will be altered to ensure minimal disruption to the rollout.
“There are also many people under and over 60 who will need to be reassured about the safety of their second dose, and that needs to be communicated to them quickly.”