Aontú Representative for East Derry, Gemma Brolly, has condemned the Stormont Executive’s introduction of COVID Vaccine Passports as dangerous, discriminatory and poorly thought out.
“For weeks now, we have had growing numbers of COVID cases and increasing pressure on hospitals and medical services. Now, in the middle of a pandemic, and with the ‘flu season’ rapidly approaching, the Executive is introducing discriminatory Vaccine Passports as opposed to dealing with our failing underfunded health service.
“It cannot be forgotten that in the last 11 years, the North of Ireland Executive have overseen a reduction of nearly 900 hospital beds in the North. The same period has seen the severe underpayment of our medical professionals and this in turn has driven many from the profession or from the country.
“In yet another poorly thought out attempt to finally ‘manage’ the current COVID situation, the Executive have now decided that they will discriminate between the vaccinated and the unvaccinated by means of a COVID Vaccine Passport. This measure will not work. It hasn’t worked anywhere else. Its allows people with Covid into hospitality to circulate and spread the illness and it can stop people without Covid from entering. It is both discriminatory and dangerous. For example, customer A may take their antigen test at home, find they are positive and so postpone their plans and isolate at home, whereas customer B has a COVID Vaccine passport and so can walk straight into an establishment whilst having COVID. Does the Executive really expect people to believe that this ludicrous measure is a solution?”
Brolly continues, “For so many years, the SDLP and Sinn Féin were parties that sought to eliminate discrimination and create a better society for all. Now they appear to stand for little more than incompetent and dangerous discriminatory health policies, the emigration of health care professionals and the loss of nearly 900 vitally important hospital beds.”
Brolly concludes “The incompetence displayed by both Sinn Féin and the SDLP is causing real hardship on the ground. Increasingly, there is an air of distrust in the Executive’s ability to handle this crisis. We need forward thinking and investment in our health service, feasible sensible management of COVID via antigen testing and an immediate end to Vaccine Passports, which are no more than a free pass to pass on COVID. We demand CHANGE NOW.