No time to consider the Vaccine Rollout changes
The decision to bring forward Tuesday’s COVID restrictions announcement meant NPHET had no time to consider the vaccine rollout changes, the Health Minister has told Pat Kenny.
It has emerged that NPHET predictions of a huge COVID wave if indoor dining was allowed to go ahead did not account for new vaccine recommendations allow younger people to access AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J).
The models, one of which predicted a surge in cases dwarfing anything the country has seen up to now, led to Cabinet deciding to delay re-opening.
Cabinet sources have said the Taoiseach told Ministers on Tuesday that the modelling accounted for the vaccine changes; however, the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) Tony Holohan has confirmed that it did not.
On The Pat Kenny Show this morning, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said ministers said the situation was made very clear to Cabinet before it made its decision.
He said NPHET had no opportunity to update its modelling.
“NIAC (the National Immunisation Advisory Committee) provided that advice to the CMO on Monday,” he said. “[The Chair of the NPHET Modelling Group] Professor Philip Nolan was having to do the modelling over the weekend.
“We asked NPHET to present to us several days early because the hospitality sector had very reasonably said, please don’t wait until Thursday; it is not enough time so if there is bad news – and there was a growing fear because of Delta that there could be bad news – they said please give us this information as early in the week as possible. So, that is what we did.”
He said he was surprised to hear Cabinet sources claiming they thought the advice had been accounted for.
“I was quite surprised to see there were anonymous sources at Cabinet who were expressing surprise at this,” he said.
“It was very clear that the modelling was being completed right up until Monday and that the NIAC advice came in on Monday so it wouldn’t have been possible for NPHET to incorporate that advice.
“Myself and the HSE are currently working through the implications of that advice and of course it will be updated.”
Credit to : Newstalk