Mandatory vaccines for frontline workers

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Dr Catherine Motherway, President of the Intensive Care Society of Ireland, Intensive Care Consultant, ULHG. Photograph: Leon Farrell / Photocall Ireland

by Bernie English

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A LIMERICK hospital consultant  has come out in support of mandatory Covid-19 vaccinations for frontline healthcare workers.

Dr Catherine Motherway, former president of the Intensive Care Society of Ireland, has said that in her personal view any health care worker interfacing with patients should be vaccinated.

“Now that the vaccine is freely available, frontline healthcare staff in direct patient contact should be vaccinated. That is my personal view. I don’t know if they will ever do that.”

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In an interview with the Sunday Independent newspaper, Dr Motherway said that while people have a personal right to refuse the vaccine, preventative vaccination is not a new issue for medical staff.

She explained that she had to undergo testing for Hepatitis and HIV before she took up her position.

The issue of whether the Government should insist on mandatory vaccines has sparked legal and ethical debate in those countries where such a move has been planned or introduced.

The HSE says that current policy is to move unvaccinated frontline healthcare staff following a risk assessment to determine the risk.