Independent TD Verona Murphy has stressed that she is not ‘anti-vax’ following her interrupted speech at the Dáil. Ms Murphy spoke in regard to COVID-19 vaccinations before being over spoken by Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly.
As Ms Murphy used vaccination data from a recent Lancet study, she stressed, “Let me be very clear – I am not anti-vax”. The data acquired by the TD states “fully vaccinated individuals with breakthrough infections have peak viral loads similar to unvaccinated cases”.
During yesterday’s Dáil debate on extending the Government’s emergency COVID powers until February 9th, Ms Murphy brought the data forward. The TD also expresses her concern at the Government of using “discriminatory and sinister” language towards unvaccinated people.
Despite not providing his own data to back up his comments, Mr Donnelly drew criticism from Murphy’s remarks, denouncing them in the process. Returning comments to the TD, Donnelly barked back; “Deputy, that information is false and it’s really important that members of parliament do not spread anti-vax information like this in the chamber.”
Speaking earlier today, Ms Murphy said it was “absolutely right” that studies had indicated that double vaccination helps people get rid of that viral load quickly. However, she feels that these studies have also shown that more action was needed than just vaccines alone.
“The goal here is to minimise transmission and the reality is there is a whole suite of measures the Government should introduce to support those who are vaccinated,” Murphy said. “Ultimately, we have seen now that the Government has put all the eggs into the vaccination basket. We do not have widespread antigen testing.”
Although Murphy does not want vaccine passports done away with, the TD points out that they do not prove someone’s immunity or, is not infectious. She is also calling upon vaccinated people to complete an antigen test before meeting vulnerable people in settings like nursing homes.
“What disturbs me about the Minister’s intervention yesterday, it’s a very dangerous narrative they’re trying to develop, whereby an opposing view immediately gets branded as anti-vax, that you’re basically right-wing,” Murphy declares. “I think that’s a very dangerous position to be putting reasonable TDs, such as Catherine Connolly and Michael McNamara in, who are voicing their opposition based on a democratic process. The COVID cert tells you you’re vaccinated, but we now know you can still spread the virus. The antigen test would be so much more effective at the point in time in which you do it.”
Murphy feels it is “ridiculous” that only people who have been identified as close contacts receive rapid tests in the post. She believes Ireland should be mimicking the UK and post at least ten free antigen tests to every home.