Daniel McConnell: Why has nobody taken charge of vaccine rollout?

Repeated calls for an overarching figure to take control to ensure accountability and delivery have fallen on deaf ears. 
Daniel McConnell: Why has nobody taken charge of vaccine rollout?

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly: Among the Cabinet ministers who asked for protocols when instances of 'excess' vaccines arise. File Picture: Sam Boal/Rollingnews.ie

For almost a year, the people of this country have seen their personal freedoms and liberties curtailed and restricted in a collective bid to overcome and defeat the Covid-19 virus.

We were told time and time again that the sacrifices made would help protect our loved ones until a vaccine or vaccines become available.

The vaccines were and are our silver bullet - our road to salvation.

As we find ourselves in the grips of a highly virulent third wave, the importance of a coherent, simple and clear vaccination strategy cannot be overstated.

Reports of relatives of non-frontline staff receiving vaccines ahead of frontline staff in hospitals have exposed the health authorities and government to justifiable criticism since the weekend.

The sense of confusion about who, why and when vaccines are given has been compounded by comments by several Cabinet ministers including Stephen Donnelly, Heather Humphreys and Simon Harris about the need for protocols when instances of ‘excess’ vaccines arise.

Then it emerged that such protocols had been issued on January 12 - did no one think to tell anyone in the Cabinet?

Repeated calls for an overarching Tsar-like figure to take control to ensure accountability and delivery have fallen on deaf ears. Proposals for a ‘vaccine minister’ have been shunned.

Gabriel Scally, in his damning report into the CervicalCheck scandal, found while there were plenty of bodies involved in the service, “no one was in charge”. A similar problem now exists in relation to vaccines.

When different arms of the State are only partially responsible for something, nobody is responsible. It is time to learn from the mistakes of the past.

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