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New rule: Vaccine cert needed to see Mam in the nursing home

A new Covid regulation has been introduced requiring people to present vaccine certs if they want to enter nursing homes – a policy with no basis in science, which may actually hurt more people than it protects.

The measure was described by Tadhg Daly of Nursing Homes Ireland in the Independent.ie:

“The new guidelines will specify that visitors to nursing homes should have a vaccine pass, with exceptions as appropriate,” he said.

“It makes no sense to have someone who is not vaccinated walking through nursing homes. We have been arguing for some time that only those who show a vaccine passport should be admitted to nursing homes.”

…Tánaiste Leo Varadkar suggested that vaccine passes for hospitals made “a lot of sense”. He said Health Minister Stephen Donnelly and the HSE were working on making vaccine passes “operational” and “practical.”

It should be added that, in all fairness to the government, the plan isn’t understood to be universally mandatory and will instead be at the discretion of individual nursing homes whether or not they want to enforce it – although, if Daly’s remarks above are anything to go by, many likely will.

Now, before criticising this plan and explaining why it won’t work, it’s worth addressing the rationale for bringing it in, which appears reasonable at first glance.

As we have all known for quite some time, if someone is older, they are generally more at risk of Covid. Because nursing homes are, by definition, full of older people, it stands to reason that extra care needs to be given to those residents and that there should be special measures in place to keep them safe. All of this makes perfect logical sense.

Where the logic falls flat, however, is when you require someone else to be vaccinated to visit their nan, as if that has any significant bearing on their threat to her health. It does not.

It’s now common knowledge that fully-vaccinated people have a similar viral load to unvaccinated people – even NPHET have admitted as much.

Additionally, the vaccinated can spread the virus in household settings just as easily as the unjabbed, as I mentioned already in a recent article.

The point has been made repeatedly already, but it’s a great case study to demonstrate the point: Waterford city became the biggest Covid hotbed in the country after jabbing 99.7% of the county’s adult population. That should tell you everything you need to know about this issue.

Yes, of course, people will bring up the fact that evidence seems to indicate that vaccinated people who get Covid are likely infectious for a shorter period of time. Sure, that seems to be the case. It’s also irrelevant to this issue.

It doesn’t matter if you’re infectious for 5 minutes or 5 weeks – if you have Covid, and you walk into a nursing home, whether you’re jabbed or unjabbed, there’s a very real chance you could spread it to other people. Vaccination status has little bearing on your risk to others in that moment.

And that is where the risk from this policy comes in. It’s quite conceivable that the jab could lull people into a false sense of security, wherein they think “I don’t have to be careful here, I’m jabbed!”, saunter in without a care in the world, and inadvertently kill their grandpa.

Under this policy, someone who is fully-vaccinated but is also Covid-positive and sneezing up a storm, or whose jab immunity has worn off, can walk into a nursing home no problem as long as they have their cert.

Meanwhile, a person who is unvaccinated with no symptoms can’t see their mother or father unless they recently took an expensive test, and may actually be less of a risk to residents than their jabbed counterpart.

Once again, we are presented with a policy which has not been teased out logically in the slightest. The only reason politicians like Varadkar think it makes “a lot of sense” is because they haven’t thought about it. It’s a wild knee-jerk reaction to rising cases and a Hail Mary attempt to salvage the situation because their Plan A – namely vaccines – isn’t panning out the way they hoped.

The vaccines didn’t reduce cases, so what is their solution? Booster jabs – i.e. “Give out third and fourth doses, because we don’t know what else to do.” The vaccine cert in restaurants and pubs didn’t reduce cases, so what do they do? “Let’s expand it to other areas like nursing homes and hospitals, because we don’t know what else to do.”

It’s an exercise in futility, led by people who quite evidently don’t know what they’re doing.

 

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