Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister of Health what evidence is available to his Department on the efficacy of vaccine passports.
Minister of Health: As with all restrictions or relaxations, The Executive’s response is led by the latest medical and scientific advice, using a broad range of data, information and statistical indicators to inform decisions. Scientific evidence used by the Executive for decision making purposes is publically available at: https://www.health-ni.gov.uk/covid-19-scientific-evidence . The Executive are also guided by advice from the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor.
Vaccines help prevent transmission of the virus as vaccinated people are less likely to become infected and ill than unvaccinated people. There is overwhelming evidence that vaccination reduces the risk of becoming infected with the virus and in particular that it reduces the risk of serious illness requiring hospitalisation. Studies also show that the viral load decreases more quickly in fully vaccinated people meaning that they could spread the virus for a shorter period of time than unvaccinated people.
Ensuring that only persons who are fully vaccinated, provided proof of negative test or natural immunity from a previous PCR test are present in these settings will reduce the risk of infection and severe illness leading to hospitalisation amongst attendees.