This is one reason why I’ve never bought into the slightly daft idea that just because we are on the same island that the north and the south should synchronise public health policies…
— Mick Fealty (@mickfealty) December 28, 2020
On Christmas Eve, Peter put these figures into proper perspective…
So far, just over 50% of Northern Ireland care home residents, 75% of care home staff, and 18% of front line medical staff in Northern Ireland have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Legitimately world leading, and very good on data/transparency, too. Unambiguously good news. https://t.co/7yr6dQdezF
— Peter Donaghy (@peterdonaghy) December 24, 2020
Because the Republic’s shipment only landed on Saturday (almost I expect the rollout there to be almost as rapid), who in their right mind would have wanted the health Minister to hold back until now? [Yes, that’s the, er, logic – Ed]
It shows the advantage of being small region with substantial devolved power (certainly relative to England’s regions which have virtually no power over public health since the Tory take over in 2010) insider the UK.
You cannot synchronise across borders when resource opportunities are unequal and public representatives have primary duties to those they actually represent rather than those they aspire to represent.
In respect of the vaccines that now still slowly coming online, it has been a staggeringly successful collaboration within and between the public sector higher education and private sector investment in research and development.
BTW, if anyone tells you again how the NHS doesn’t work and how we need more private healthcare initiatives, just throw a bit of that cussed old British Tory PM Churchill at them…
We shall not fail or falter; we shall not weaken or tire. Neither the sudden shock of battle, nor the long-drawn trials of vigilance and exertion will wear us down. Give us the tools, and we will finish the job.
Mick is founding editor of Slugger. He has written papers on the impacts of the Internet on politics and the wider media and is a regular guest and speaking events across Ireland, the UK and Europe. Twitter: @MickFealty