COVID-19 Vaccination and Legal Preparedness: Lessons from Ireland

Mary-Elizabeth Tumelty, Mary Donnelly, Anne-Maree Farrell, Clayton Ó Néill

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Abstract

Ireland has been a leader in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in the EU, with almost 80% of the eligible population (aged over 5 years) fully vaccinated at the time of writing. The success of the vaccine rollout in this jurisdiction notwithstanding, the legal frameworks supporting the rollout had significant lacunas. Two aspects in particular highlighted a lack of legal preparedness: the inadequacy of the legal framework for consent and the absence of a vaccine injury redress scheme. This paper explores these components of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout through the lens of legal preparedness. Whilst most often discussed in the context of command and control measures such as social distancing requirements and regional lockdowns, this paper argues for an expanded understanding of what it means to be legally prepared, highlighting the importance of the preparedness of domestic legal frameworks.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalEuropean Journal of Health Law
Early online date04 Mar 2022
Publication statusEarly online date - 04 Mar 2022

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