The National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) is considering making vaccines mandatory for healthcare workers.
The issue was raised at a meeting earlier this month which agreed to examine the “relevant ethical, legal and practical issues before any action is considered”.
According to the meeting, the Department of Health is to prepare an evidence paper on the topic to be discussed at a future meeting.
Until now, that standard procedure was to remove an unvaccinated healthcare worker from frontline duties, based on individual risk assessment.
In other countries such as France, healthcare workers are required to get vaccinated.
Among the discussions at the meeting was communicating the “path to endemicity” of Covid-19 and the role that booster doses will play in this.
“Such messaging could explain that, while it is likely that many people may become infected with SARS-CoV-2 at some point in future, it is vital that as many people as possible are vaccinated and given booster doses where appropriate as quickly as possible.”
Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan has emphasised when the force of infection is so strong it is “not reasonable” to assume that our healthcare system can cope by increasing testing and tracing.
“There are many layers to our response to Covid-19. The front line of defence must remain the public’s continued adherence to basic public health measures.”
IMAGE – “201214-D-BN624-0811” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Secretary of Defense/PA Images