“We must support the scientists who have delivered the vaccines” – Kelly
- All TD’s and Senators should sign Labour’s vaccine pledge
- Taoiseach needs to talk to social media companies about combatting misinformation
- Answers needed on how the necessary data for distribution will be collated
Labour Leader and Health Spokesperson, Alan Kelly has called on all TD’s and Senators to sign a pledge to support the rollout of the Covid vaccine, the public awareness campaign and when the time comes to take the Covid vaccine.
Speaking at Leaders Questions, Deputy Kelly said:
“The Scientists have done their work, they have delivered. Now we as public as public representatives need to support them, we need to support the scientists who have delivered these vaccines and we must be very pro-vaccine which historically the Labour Party has been.
“I am concerned about utterances by some public representatives in the past. I am concerned about the impact that it is having on our citizens. I’m concerned that many of our citizens are being fed deliberate misinformation at a critical time.
“The Labour Party have written to every single TD. Senator, and asked them will they sign up to the vaccine, will they promote the vaccine, will they promote the public awareness campaign behind the vaccine, and its full rollout. I would ask you Taoiseach to lead, and everyone else to sign it and return within a week. We do need a public awareness campaign now ahead of the vaccine rollout, which hopefully will be early in the new year.
“Much of the misinformation that is spread is done on social media. In this city. We have Twitter, Facebook, Tik Tok, Google, and Instagram. We need to talk to them. We need to deal with misinformation that has been deliberately put out on those platforms. They changed their algorithms and change their rules in relation to the recent US election. We need to do so, again, in relation to the rollout of this vaccine. We in Ireland can lead on that through your role as Taoiseach by talking to these social media companies who obviously are so powerful now.
“I also have a query in relation to what database we are going to use to gather the information and how we are going to gather the necessary data in relation to health, where is it going to be stored and if we need legislation, emergency legislation before Christmas. We had a lot of issues in this house with the Public Services Card. The information stored in relation to individuals here is going to be very deep and personal in relation to their health and we need clarity on this.