The Fine Gael Parliamentary Party has unanimously passed a motion expressing confidence in the COVID-19 vaccine and highlighting the need to counteract misinformation in relation to the vaccine.
The motion, tabled by Fine Gael’s Health Spokesperson Colm Burke reads: That the Fine Gael party welcomes the recent positive news about COVID-19 vaccines, recognises the benefits of high levels of vaccination in protecting everyone, commits to work with healthcare professionals to promote the uptake of COVID-19 vaccines, provide accurate information and challenge misinformation.
It was agreed by all Fine Gael Ministers, TDs, Senators and MEPs attending tonight’s parliamentary party meeting.
Fine Gael Leader, An Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said: “The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines is the best possible news at the end of this difficult year. We can save hundreds of lives by encouraging as many people as possible to take them. This pandemic has given us a disturbing reminder of what the world was like before vaccines were introduced.
“This week the Government published the National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy and we will start administering the vaccines as soon as they have been approved by the European Medicines Agency. We expect the EMA to make its first decisions in the very near future.
“Anyone with concerns should be reassured by the unprecedented global effort and the extensive scientific and medical research that has gone into these vaccines. It’s so important that we all get vaccinated against COVID-19 to help bring Ireland out the other side of this pandemic.”
Fine Gael’s Dáil Health Spokesperson, Colm Burke, who tabled the motion, said: “Over the last 200 years in Ireland, apart from clean water, vaccines have saved lives more than any other intervention. Polio, Smallpox, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Rubella, Measles, Mumps all preventable diseases have been eliminated or greatly suppressed.
“Countless people are alive today like you and I because we followed medical advice and had vaccinations. We now all need to step up again and help save lives by getting vaccinated.
I am committed to getting vaccinated against Covid-19. Together we can beat this terrible virus which has already ended the lives of over 1.6million people around the world.”
Fine Gael Parliamentary Party Chair, Richard Bruton concluded: “This year over 76,000 of our citizens have tested positive for Covid 19 and sadly over 2,000 of those did not survive it. Many of those endured the traumatic experience of intensive care.
“The vaccine can protect us and save enormous trauma for patients and their families. It is time to take heed of the professional medical advice not the echo chambers of misinformation. While continuing to wash our hands, avoid crowded places, physically distance, and wear face coverings can help us, only a vaccine can eliminate it.”