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Vaccination may be mandatory for health care staff in Ireland; those who refuse could be banned from working on the frontline

DUBLIN: COVID-19 vaccination may be mandatory for health care workers in Ireland. The Justice Minister Helen McEntee said that health care workers who refuse to be vaccinated will be banned from working at the forefront.

The Justice Minister made it clear yesterday that they would definitely consider this decision if high numbers of frontline workers in hospitals or other settings refused to take the vaccine. “But you know, it is something that the HSE, the Department of Health and those managing our hospitals and other healthcare settings would have to look at very carefully and I am sure they would do that,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, Nursing Homes Ireland CEO Tadhg Daly said yesterday that he would fully support the provision of compulsory vaccination to health care staff.

“The objective here is that people would willingly come forward to take the vaccine and I think in the majority of cases we have seen that people do want to take this vaccine, not just for themselves but for the people they are working with, they are helping and they live with in other circumstances as well,” Ms. McEntee said.

Meanwhile, management at two Dublin nursing homes said that raffles and cash prizes had been promised to encourage workers to take the vaccine. The decision was made because 30 of its workers still refused to be vaccinated.

A survey conducted by Newstalk in late January found that 15% of nursing home employees may have refused the vaccine. Of the 40 nursing homes surveyed, only 75% to 95% (an average of around 85%) of employees received the COVID vaccine. In addition, the survey found that at least one in 37 households surveyed refused the vaccine for personal reasons.

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