Vaccination policy – carrot and stick

 

Sir, – Did we really believe the vaccine rollout could run smoothly without any glitches or hold-ups? Dare I suggest we all have a little more patience and respectfully wait in our position in the queue. – Yours, etc,

KEVIN McLOUGHLIN,

Ballina,

Co Mayo.

Sir, – Why the tardiness in confirming the delivery of vaccines? As of Friday morning, only deliveries to March 31st have been published by the Department of Health.

If details of vaccines administered can be delivered within 36 hours, why not details of deliveries received?

Lack of transparency suggests that all is not going to plan with the administration of vaccines. – Yours, etc,

WILLIAM RYAN,

Dublin 15.

Sir, – Like most people over 65, I’ve been at home obeying the lockdown rules and recommendations for over a year now. So I’ve had lots of time to read about the various vaccines. I feel safe taking Pfizer or Moderna. Both have been approved by the Food and Drug Administration in the US as well as the European Medicines Agency and, as far as I’m aware, no country has rejected, stopped or suspended the use of either. Yet Simon Coveney says (News April 15th) that I’m to be penalised for my health choice by being sent to the back of the vaccine queue.

At the same time, those who have endangered the lives of others by breaching lockdown rules or recommendations will still be vaccinated in their correct cohort.

Vaccination is a medical procedure and patient concerns should be taken seriously, not summarily dismissed. – Yours, etc,

MÁIRE WINTERS,

Headford.

Co Galway.

Sir, – If age is the main predictor of a bad Covid outcome then why are senior members of Government threatening to relegate people aged between 60 to 69 to the back of the queue if they refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine?

We need to treat people better than that. It is hardly surprising that there may be a hesitancy on the part of people with underlying medical conditions about accepting AstraZeneca, particularly when confidence in it has been shaken by the “abundance of caution” principle adopted by public health officials across the globe in imposing restrictions on its use.

If our confidence in this vaccine has been shaken, are we too not entitled to have “an abundance of caution” when it comes to our own health without being threatened with the back of the queue? There must be a better answer. – Yours, etc,

PHILIP CARR,

Roscrea,

Co Tipperary.

Sir, – The Government, on medical advice, is exercising caution in the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

This is stated to be due to serious illness in five or six people and a single mortality in each one million vaccinations.

With figures such as these, I would have automatically assumed that the vaccination programme would be racing ahead.

Surely the responsibility of medics and Government is to view the different options and then to protect the greater number. Instead we seem to have become inured to 20 daily Covid deaths and yet are afraid of one AstraZeneca death.

There is something seriously wrong here. This is a war, and speed is far more important than caution. – Yours, etc,

ANTHONY HANRAHAN,

Renvyle,

Co Galway.

Sir, – As a someone in their sixties with a family history of adverse thrombotic events, I am very concerned that because of the age cohort to which I belong I do not have the same access to the State’s portfolio of four vaccines as people in the over-70s and under-60s cohorts do. The 60 to 69 age cohort is restricted to one vaccine, AstraZeneca, a vaccine which has higher clotting risks than the other vaccines. To compound this, Simon Coveney and Leo Varadkar now say that should someone in my age cohort refuse to take AstraZeneca, for whatever reason, that they will be forced to go to the back of the vaccine queue. A cogent case urgently needs to be made for those in the 60 to 69 age cohort with a family predisposition to thrombotic events to have the possibility of getting a less risky vaccine. I fully appreciate that people should not get to choose their vaccine, but to deny one age cohort the possibility of getting a safer vaccine is simply inequitable. – Yours, etc,

MARY SMITH,

Sligo.

Sir, – In the past 24 hours, the Tánaiste has described the vaccine rollout journey as a bump in the road while Paul Reid of the HSE has described it as a white-knuckle ride. If I am planning a journey I’ll call the AA. – Yours, etc,

PADDY GOGARTY,

Portmarnock,

Co Dublin.

Sir, – The Tánaiste’s statement that those who refuse the AstraZeneca vaccine “will be put back to the end of the queue” may come back to haunt him.

Pensioners have long memories and many may decide to put his party to the end of the queue for their votes come the next election. – Yours, etc,

BRENDAN

O’CARROLL,

Tralee,

Co Kerry.