Middleton: Scottish example shows vaccine passports a distraction from real issue

DUP MLA Gary Middleton has said Scotland has demonstrated that vaccine passports are only a distraction from the real issue of tackling pressures facing our health service.

By Gary Middleton MLA


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His comments come after the SNP Government admitted that the scheme had only led to a "small rise" in vaccination rates amongst young people. The report also said that venues covered by the scheme had seen "substantial footfall and revenue reductions" since it was introduced on 1st October.

The Foyle MLA said, "We should be learning from the experience of other jurisdictions and it seems clear that vaccine passports are not going to deliver any real impact in terms of vaccine uptake, and there is nothing to suggest they will deliver any other health benefits.

Scotland shows also the economic impact the scheme can have, and whilst the Scottish scheme did not have the option to produce a negative test result, this is still a cause for concern. The scheme will come into operation here in Northern Ireland just as we approach Christmas and any problems will cause real difficulties for hospitality venues at their key trading time of the year. Scotland is not

The vaccine passport scheme is clearly a distraction from the real issues the Executive and Northern Ireland as a whole faces. Instead of the time and effort that was expended in bringing forward this scheme we should have been focusing on detailed proposals that can reduce the pressures on our hospitals and our health care staff. Those proposals must now be a priority for everyone alongside a speedy roll-out of the booster jab programme.

Covid is not the only pressure impacting upon the health service and we must ensure the focus is on measures which will have a clear and demonstrable impact rather than those which are effectively little more than public awareness campaigns."

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