Sir, – Mark Paul (“Let’s Talk About Acceptable Covid Death Rates Before Restrictions Start,” Business Opinion, October 22) calls for a national conversation on how to balance the value of a life saved against economic costs and social Covid restrictions. Given how uncomfortable and uncertain many of us are about the issue, it’s no surprise that it was rarely mentioned during the pandemic.
Global health inequality is another issue that has been brought to light by the pandemic and only sporadically receives the attention it deserves. There has been little public discussion of the global health costs of booster injections in Ireland.
Perhaps your journal could expand on such a discussion by asking a scientist to calculate the number of lives saved per 100,000 vaccines boostered to people aged 60 to 70 in Ireland versus the lives saved if the same number of vaccines were administered, for example, health workers in one of 10 African countries where less than 1% of the population is fully immunized. – yours, etc.,
Sir – So the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (Niac) finally made the decision to recommend Covid-19 booster injections for those over 60.
Hopefully he will prove to be a little more nimble in recommending the same to frontline health workers.
This is to be welcomed given Professor Kingston Mills, Professor Luke O’Neill and others who point to the growing international evidence for decreased effectiveness of vaccinations (especially for those of us at an age who have been forced to receive AstraZeneca – don’t get me started).
However, your health editor Paul Cullen eloquently expresses the ethical dilemma of receiving a booster: “A third dose of vaccine in an Irish arm is a first dose denied to someone in the developing world.” , News, October 19).
Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown also highlighted the personal interest in boosting vaccinations in developing countries, as failing to do so risks the emergence of deadly variants that could render our current vaccinations ineffective.
In order to try to square the circle, could I suggest that all those who are born lucky to receive a booster vaccine receive at the same time an information brochure encouraging a donation to buy a vaccine for another being? human rights in the developing world (for example via Unicef).
This would overturn the old promotional slogan of “Buy One – Get One Free” to “Get One Free – Buy One”. – yours, etc.,