A Fine Gael Senator has called for vaccine parity for all living on the island of Ireland, as people start to receive their Digital Covid Certificates by email and post.
Senator Emer Currie said, “There is no difference between the Pfizer vaccine I received in Dublin and the one my cousin received in Tyrone. There’s no difference in the vaccines offered to two housemates living in Dublin, one of whom received theirs in Derry. And there’s no difference between the vaccine a County Down mother who has lived in Dublin for twenty years got, and the one her husband received in the Helix.
“We work hard to have a country unaffected by a border for cross-border workers and cross-border life, and provisions should now be made for cross-border vaccines. We have many special arrangements in place with the North on issues such as the Erasmus Plus scheme and the European Health Insurance Card, and we now need to extend such cooperation to international travel.
“I’m glad to see that fully-vaccinated Northern Ireland citizens are acknowledged in the indoor dining plans and I would ask that clarity be given, and a solution be found, on the issue of international travel.
“The Northern Ireland Executive has released details of their Covid 19 vaccine passport which operates on the basis of ease of access to green list countries, while Dublin has signed up to the EU Digital Covid Certificate scheme. At the moment, the countries on the two schemes are not aligned.
“It’s a matter of days before the Digital Covid Cert comes into operation and people who received their vaccine in the North, but live in the South, don’t know if they will have the same access to non-essential travel to EU countries as the people they work, live and travel with.
“When it comes to indoor dining, it’s reassuring to hear that fully-vaccinated Northerners won’t be left in the cold. If co-operation can be found on this, can we now address the barriers to travel?
“We should aim for parity of vaccines, whether that be for indoor dining or international travel. It makes no sense to me that people vaccinated with the same vaccines, who share the same island, won’t have access to the same opportunities,” concluded Senator Currie.