Government would be better advised to campaign against patent and IP restrictions obstructing the availability of vaccines globally than targeting the small number of unvaccinated in Ireland
In a statement, Richard Boyd Barrett TD for People Before Profit has warned against any proposal by Government to make Covid-19 vaccination mandatory, saying it would be “counter-productive”, “ethically wrong” and “could undermine public trust in health policy.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett’s statement comes as reports emerged that NEPHET are to consider the issue of mandatory vaccination over the coming period.
Deputy Boyd Barrett pointed out that the World Health Organisation had consistently cautioned against the option of mandatory vaccination, on the grounds that it could undermine public confidence in public health measures and policy.
Deputy Boyd Barrett added that consideration of mandatory vaccination was “particularly unnecessary in Ireland where the voluntary approach to encouraging vaccination for Covid-19 has been hugely successful, leading to one of the highest rates of vaccination anywhere in the world.”
Deputy Boyd Barrett said:
“People Before Profit have been strong advocates for the Covid-19 vaccination campaign from the outset and I would still strongly encourage people who have not taken up the vaccine to do so, but mandatory vaccination could seriously back-fire and undermine the high level of trust and compliance that we have seen with public health recommendations.
“It seems particularly strange and unnecessary that the Irish government or NEPHET would consider mandatory vaccination when the voluntary approach of encouragement and providing people with the information and evidence about the benefits of vaccination have been such a success. Ireland has achieved one of the highest vaccination up-takes in the world through the voluntary approach. It would be a mistake to break from that approach now.
“It would also be ethically wrong and set a very bad precedent for the future to make any kind of health procedure mandatory.
“The government would be far better advised to change its position on the lifting of IP and patent restrictions on the production of vaccines, which are a far bigger obstacle to increasing vaccination levels across the world, than the tiny number of people in this country who have decided not to be vaccinated.”