THE Miscellaneous Provisions (2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Vaccination Personnel) Bill, 2021 was laid, debated and passed in the House of Representatives on Friday afternoon.
The bill, laid by Attorney General Faris Al-Raiw, allows people who are not employed by the Ministry of Health such as pharmacists, dentists and other medical practitioners and who administer covid19 vaccines in accordance with emergency powers under the state of emergency (SoE), to continue to give the jabs when the SoE is lifted on November 29.
The bill would affect the emergency ambulance services and emergency medical personnel act chapter 26:02; the pharmacy board act 29:52; the nursing personnel act 29:53; the dental profession act 25:54; the veterinary surgeon registration act 67:04; and the professions related to medicine act, chapter 90:04.
Al-Rawi said if amendments to the acts were not made, it would leave the vaccination drive short-staffed after the SoE ends. He said government has been utilising the services of these practitioners since June.
“If we do not take this action we will be exposing the population to an understaffed vaccination process where mass vaccination sites would be difficult to man, the health centres would be difficult to man. We would be starving the drive by removing the personnel.”
He noted that some of the people carrying out the vaccinations would have to do so under the provisions of the medical board act which would mean that they would have to administer the vaccine under supervision of a medical practitioner.
“We are not saying to unleash people who are not trained in medicine or with proper training but we are properly utilising provisions where there would be supervision.”
After a brief debate, the bill was sent to committee stage where the seven clauses were read, there were several minor amendments to the wording of some of the clauses, it was passed at committee stage, the committee's findings were reported to the House which then voted to agree with the committee's recommendation, the bill was read a third time and then passed.