Pam Cameron - "people being denied second jab for bureaucratic reasons"

DUP South Antrim MLA and Vice-Chair of the Northern Ireland Assembly’s Health Committee Pam Cameron has urged the Minister of Health to scale up efforts to facilitate the exchange of Covid-19 vaccination data between Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

By Pam Cameron MLA

South Antrim

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Mrs Cameron said:

‘‘It is alarming that almost nine months after the local vaccination programme kickstarted, health authorities in the four regions of the United Kingdom still aren’t able share data on who has received the jab. This is causing significant disruption which simply cannot be justified.

It is unacceptable that some of those who stepped forward in faith to receive the Covid vaccine - but have since relocated because or work or other circumstances - are finding it difficult to access their second dose because their vaccination history is not available. This includes members of our Armed Forces. Others, including elite athletes, have been unable to certify that they have been double vaccinated in order to travel abroad – mainly because local GPs and other health professionals in Northern Ireland do not have access to records held by NHS England.

This situation was entirely avoidable. It seems irrational that patients who are eligible for the vaccine are being denied this service for purely bureaucratic reasons. Therefore, it is critical that the process of establishing an operable system of vaccination information exchange now moves at pace. Reports that this could take several more weeks suggest health planners have failed to grasp the scale of the problem. That will ultimately be of little comfort to those affected.

The First Minister has requested that the Minister of Health update the Northern Ireland Executive on what steps are being taken to resolve these issues. I call on him to urgently agree arrangement with his counterparts in Great Britain to alleviate this disruption and find a sustainable solution to the current challenges.’’

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