Vaccination policy

Sir, – Not allowing the unvaccinated into crowded places where the risks of cross-infection are high is no more onerous than not allowing the intoxicated, unlicensed, or uninsured to drive. It is done to protect the general public from a greater risk of harm. Entering a pub or stadium is no more a human right than driving a car.

Compulsory vaccination is likely to be a counter-productive policy with little benefit when over 90 per cent of the eligible population are voluntarily vaccinated in any case. But placing restrictions on where the unvaccinated can go is not an impairment of their human right to bodily integrity; it is a vindication of the human rights of others to be protected from unnecessary risk of harm. – Yours, etc,


Blessington, Co Wicklow.


Sir, – The right to consent is an important principle of medical ethics and the right to bodily integrity is enshrined in our Constitution. Putting restrictions on the unvaccinated amounts to paying lip-service to these rights while illegitimately seeking to implicitly coerce. This is duress and undermines the right to consent.

The Covid certificate system should be ended as soon as possible rather than being extended further. The Irish Council for Civil Liberties has deemed it to be discriminatory and the associated civil liberties concerns were widely acknowledged by Irish politicians, including the Taoiseach and Ministers, in early 2021.

The certificate system normalises the idea (and establishes the dangerous precedent) that it is acceptable to exclude sections of society.

It’s vitally important that we hold to our cherished principles and rights, even during times of crisis. When these principles are undermined, they become very difficult to re-establish and long-term damage to society is done.

According to Prof Andrew Pollard, the head of the UK's committee on vaccination and immunisation, vaccinating the planet every four to six months isn't sustainable or affordable (News, January 10th). In this context, surely the emphasis in future should be on reducing restrictions, emphasising personal responsibility and honouring our valued principles? – Yours, etc,


Howth, Co Dublin.