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Please get your children vaccinated, it’s the only way my vulnerable son can go back to school

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Now that vaccines are being rolled out in the US for five to 11-year-olds and Pfizer is ready to go, wouldn’t it be brilliant if our children here aged five to 11 got the Covid vaccine ASAP?

There are children, including my son, who haven’t returned to school because of their vulnerability. My son is a pupil at a special school attended by five to 18-year-olds.

Jack is 16 and is vaccinated since his 16th birthday he and received the booster last Friday. He can’t return to school because we need herd immunity to protect him. His class is small, only six children, but only 50pc of his class is vaccinated. So I can’t take the risk.

He would not be able to go in on the special transport provided, as he would be sharing the bus with lots of other children of different ages.

There are also other things that need to be done in our schools, such as the installation of Hepa filters. The heating is currently broken and there was another confirmed Covid case a few days ago. How could I send him back?  

There is no light at the end of the tunnel. My son requires 24-hour care. It’s been a very long 20 months. I can’t see my son returning any time soon.

I would urge parents to get their children aged five to 11 vaccinated. My son gets the flu vaccine every year (as does our whole family to protect him), yet unfortunately because everyone in the community/ school doesn’t get it, he often gets flu and is always hospitalised and sometimes has to go to ICU.

Hence my fear of sending him back as I feel I would be sending him back to catch Covid. We have kept him alive all his life against the odds, so I can’t fail him now.

Aisling McNiffe

Ardclough, Co Kildare

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Nphet – follow your own advice and work at home

Nphet is now advising that people should work from home where possible.

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Dr Gavin doesn’t do cuddly – ask Joan Burton or Paschal Donohoe – but he was putty in the hands of the soccer-playing girl who had charmed her god in the Aviva Stadium.

Oliver McGrane

Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

 

Irish naivety is helping Putin destabilise the EU

What is happening on the Polish-Belarus border is an example of Vladimir Putin’s hybrid warfare strategy (‘Crisis over migrants could spark a military showdown’, Irish Independent, November 11).

This seeks to damage opponents and spread division in the EU. Unfortunately, Irish naivety is now helping him target Poland.

Foreign Affairs Minister Simon Coveney announced this week that Irish companies leasing aircraft to Belarus can continue with existing contracts.

These aircraft are used by Putin’s ally Alexander Lukashenko to ferry thousands of migrants from all over the Middle East into Belarus.

They are then sent to the Polish border so they can try to cross over into the EU.

It’s time our Government ordered Irish firms to stop aiding the Belarusian dictator Lukashenko and his Russian backer.

Karl Martin

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Government clear in its message, if not in deed

I cannot understand those who criticise the Government for “mixed messages”.

Ministers have been very clear that at both the Ireland-Portugal full-capacity soccer match and in nightclubs, people should practise social distancing.

Happy Christmas everyone.

Gareth Smyth

Louisburgh, Co Mayo

De Klerk was a huge part of South Africa’s problem

The death of South Africa’s last white president, FW de Klerk, marks the end of those from the leadership of South Africa during the apartheid times.

He did start the process of transition to democracy where everyone had a vote, but he also worked for a long time in the apartheid system and didn’t seem to really apologise, recognise and condemn apartheid as completely as he should have.

It is customary to praise those who die, and he did start the process, but the full picture is more complex than that. Although apartheid has officially gone, are all the people in South Africa offered the same opportunities? I think there is more to do.

Rest in peace and hope that others continue with the journey to full equality in South Africa.

Dennis Fitzgerald

Melbourne, Australia

 

SDLP founders would be sad at state of the North

I learned with sadness and regret of the death of Austin Currie, the last remaining of those who founded Northern Ireland’s Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) in August 1970. May he now rest in peace alongside Ivan Cooper, Paddy Devlin, Gerry Fitt, John Hume, Paddy O’Hanlon and Paddy Wilson – the party’s other founder members.

While the menace of Brexit currently stalks the landscape of Anglo-Irish politics, relationships were infinitely worse half a century ago.

That we are now in a better place is due in no small part to the bravery and steadfastness of these seven intrepid Northern politicians, all of whom – if they were still among us – would, I suggest, be totally exasperated.

Michael Gannon

Thomas’ Square, Co Kilkenny

 

Government’s duty is to keep all its citizens safe

With increasing numbers becoming infected with Covid-19, how many of those are:

A) Vaccinated or unvaccinated?

B) What age bracket are they in?

This could help the Government in determining what sectors are most at risk of increasing the numbers of persons spreading this virus.

The Government must take all reasonable measures to ensure the safety of all of its citizens and not just to one section of society.

A heaving mass of people dancing without masks or social distancing will not prevent the spread of this virus.

Those businesses that fail to enforce strict regulations, ensuring the safety of their customers, should be closed or have their licences revoked.

There are no half-measures here. We have a Government trying to placate a certain section of society, while keeping an eye on the polls and opposition, instead of listening to the expert advice of its scientists.

Christy Galligan

Letterkenny, Co Donegal

 

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Since the Paris accord in 2015, we have seen rising emissions, rising temperatures, as well as rising fossil fuel production – and it’s the vulnerable who suffer most.

Countries in the global south contribute relatively little to climate change in terms of carbon emissions, yet they are among the hardest hit, partly because they rely heavily on rain-fed farming. Rising temperatures and sea levels have heightened the frequency and intensity of natural disasters, so why should these vulnerable communities have to suffer the mistakes of the Western world?

From working in Kenya since 2002, I have seen first-hand the result of climate change with the women and girls I work with, within Brighter Communities Worldwide – from having to walk even longer distances to access water.

Maria Kidney

Brighter Communities Worldwide

Cork, Ireland


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