Northern Ireland First Minister Paul Givan has stated that vaccine passports would impinge on the rights of an individual while linking them to demanding someone to disclose whether they are taking depression medication.
Givan was urged to set up a vaccination certificate scheme during a heated exchange in the Stormont Assembly by SDLP Lagan Valley MLA Pat Catney.
Such a system does not exist in the north as it does in the Republic in regards to a proof-of-vaccination scheme.
Pat Catney stated that those over 50 who have not been vaccinated are five times more likely to be admitted to hospital with Covid-19.
Catney also called for a “mandatory” certificate scheme to protect citizens and “prevent a further lockdown”.
Responding to the idea of mandatory vaccine passports, Givan stated that such a system “would impinge on people’s civil rights”.
“We are at a point in our society where people who have not got the vaccine, and I wish they did, I really wish they did get it, but they haven’t got it, and it is not the place of members of this society or other members of society to be asking people ‘have you been vaccinated or not?’”
Givan also said that this hasn’t been the case for any other type of illness while adding, “Nobody walks up to somebody and says: Are you on medication because of your depression, or are you taking medication because you have a heart condition, are you taking your medication because you have cancer?”
“There comes a point where we need to respect people’s decisions when it comes to this.”
IMAGE – “201214-D-BN624-0811” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Secretary of Defense