50 legal and medical professionals sign statement condemning “vaccine discrimination”.

50 medical and legal professionals have signed an open letter calling for an end to what they say is discrimination against those unvaccinated for the Covid-19 virus.

They say they “condemn the current legal discrimination against unvaccinated persons as a shocking and degrading violation of human rights,” and reference Resolution 2361 (2021) of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe which they say urges member States – including Ireland – to:

“…ensure…that no one is under political, social or other pressure to be vaccinated if they do not wish to do so;

ensure that no one is discriminated against for not having been vaccinated, due to possible health risks or not wanting to be vaccinated;

use vaccination certificates only for their designated purpose of monitoring vaccine efficacy, potential side effects and adverse events…”

“We call on the government to honour those principles. In addition, we strongly deplore the remarkably hostile scapegoating campaign against unvaccinated people by numerous politicians, media figures and others in the public eye,” they continue.

“This disturbing campaign incites hatred and division,” the letter states. They say:

“The scapegoating and legal discrimination are not only appalling but also absurd, in light of the fact that people who are vaccinated against Covid-19 can and do also contract and transmit the virus.”

The letter also states Ireland has the highest full vaccination rate in the EU/EEA, yet also has far more than the EU/EEA average case rate for Covid.

“The majority of unvaccinated people in Ireland are young and extremely unlikely to require hospitalisation if they contract Covid-19,” they say.

“Hospitals in Ireland are under pressure because of inadequate health service capacity. OECD data indicates that, years before Covid-19 struck, Ireland already had the highest occupancy rate of acute care beds in the OECD – and one of the lower numbers of intensive care beds per 100,000 people in the OECD.”

They also defended the right of people not to take a vaccine.

“Many people have entirely legitimate reasons for not taking a Covid-19 vaccine (or not getting a second dose) – including for medical or other reasons, for example because they have natural immunity due to prior infection. Recent research has found that natural immunity provides longer-lasting and stronger protection than vaccine-induced immunity,” they wrote.

“There is a better path than unjust, divisive and irresponsible scapegoating. With this in mind, we urge the government to fulfil their duty to adequately resource the health service, in particular by improving health service capacity, which even now – over 20 months after the first recorded Covid-19 case in Ireland – still remains seriously inadequate,” they wrote.

They also claimed a ‘fairer debate’ was required. “ We also strongly urge the media to ensure both sides of the debate on Covid-19 restrictions are fully and fairly heard, and to perform their vital duty of challenging those in authority, rather than facilitating efforts to deflect the blame for current difficulties away from persons in authority and onto members of the public.”

The full list of signatories is:

Eimear Bell Senior physiotherapist

Liz Bergin Pharmacist

Anne Bolger Clinical Nurse Specialist

Martin Byrne Barrister-at-Law

Martin Caddow RGN

Vincent Carroll Medical Doctor

Louise Carroll RM

Anna Cogan Solicitor

Monica Conway Integrative Therapist

Orlagh Corcoran Registered Nurse

Gerardine Costello Solicitor

Siobhan Daly Solicitor

Louisa Deady Speech and language Therapist

Clare Dooley Chief Vascular Physiologist

David Fagan Vascular Physiologist

Alan Farrell Medical Doctor

Martin Feeley Medical Doctor

Kenneth C Fogarty Senior Counsel

Noreen Harty RGN

Jane Holland Medical Doctor

Catherine Holmes Solicitor

Iwona Krzyspiak Registered Nurse

Siobhan Mallen RGN

Anne McCloskey Medical Doctor

Eleanor McGee Clinical Nurse

Maria Mhic Mheanmain RNID

Fiona Milton HCA

Annette Mitchell Vascular Physiologist

Claire Moloney Psychologist

Pat Morrissey Medical Doctor

Sinead NiLionsigh Care Worker

Marta Nowakowska HCA

Karen O’Donovan RGN

Karen O’Hanlon Doctor & Scientist

Tracey O’Mahony Barrister-at-Law

Audrey Pender RGN

William Ralph Medical Doctor

Natalie Robitzki RPN

Andrew Rynne Medical Doctor

Edmund Shanahan Barrister-at-Law

Sabrina Sullivan Solicitor

Geoffrey Sumner Barrister-at-Law

Pauline Vahey Registered Nurse

Grainne Vaughan Advanced Nurse

Practitioner Mary Wall RGN

Gerry Waters Medical Doctor

Marcin Wesolowski HC

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