Sinn Fein ask for clarity on changes to vaccine rollout

A local MLA has called on the Health Minister to provide clarity about the basis for the change of policy on the schedule of the Covid-19 vaccination rollout.

Sinn Fein MLA Karen Mullan said the public and health care workers need clarity on the vaccine approach being taken by the Department of Health.

She said: “Vaccinations will play a vital role in defeating this virus and it is important we have a successful rollout of vaccination programmes.

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“Given the pivotal role vaccines will play in the COVID-19 response my party wrote to Minister Swann at the weekend regarding his decision to extend the time between the two vaccination jabs from three weeks to 12 weeks.

Sinn Fein has written to the health minister asking to provide clarity about the basis for the change of policy and to provide evidence for the decision.

Karen Mullan added: “It was reported last week that Pfizer, the company who developed the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine, said people should get their vaccinations on the recommended schedule and said ‘there is no data to demonstrate that protection after the first dose is sustained after 21 days’.

“We have asked Minister Swann to explain the basis for his decision to change his department’s approach to the rollout of vaccinations in light of the comments from the manufacturer.

“The Minister needs to provide clarity for his decision to the public and to front line workers on this change of approach, and demonstrate the evidence base for that decision.”