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45% of Irish people would not commit to getting Covid-19 vaccine, survey reveals

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Optimism is growing that the first batches of a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine could arrive in the Republic before the end of the year. (Imperial College London/PA)

Optimism is growing that the first batches of a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine could arrive in the Republic before the end of the year. (Imperial College London/PA)

Optimism is growing that the first batches of a safe and effective Covid-19 vaccine could arrive in the Republic before the end of the year. (Imperial College London/PA)

Just over half of people surveyed in the Republic of Ireland say they would get a Covid-19 vaccine, a new survey reveals.

The Government may face a battle to secure a high take-up from people if a jab gets ­official approval.

But it comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar revealed he and the Government was optimistic about the rollout of a vaccine early next year.

A poll released today found 55pc would get the Covid-19 vaccine if one was available. One third were unsure and 12pc would turn it down.

The findings emerged in the first wave of the Ipsos MRBI IPHA Covid-19 Vaccine Tracker - a monthly barometer of the public's likelihood to get vaccinated for Covid-19 should there be a breakthrough.

It was commissioned by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), representing the big drug companies and it comes amid growing optimism the first Covid-19 vaccine could be here by the end of the year.

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Leo Varadkar's hopes for a vaccine are based on information from different companies and the WHO.

Leo Varadkar's hopes for a vaccine are based on information from different companies and the WHO.

Leo Varadkar's hopes for a vaccine are based on information from different companies and the WHO.

Mr Varadkar said yesterday: "In terms of the vaccine, I am increasingly optimistic, as is Government, that we will see a vaccine approved in the next couple of months and that in the first half, if not the first quarter, of next year, it will be possible to start vaccinating those most at risk, healthcare workers and people with chronic illnesses."

He told RTÉ his hopes were based on information being supplied to the Government from different companies and based on advice from the WHO.

The poll findings provided reassurance, however, that older people, a group in the at-risk category who are likely to be among the first to be offered a vaccine, are the most receptive to ­getting the jab.

The age group most likely to take the vaccine were the over-65s, followed by people aged between 35 and 44.

Younger people were the least likely to take the vaccine, with 19pc of those aged between 25 and 34, and 18pc of those aged between 18 and 24 saying they would not take it. Some 60pc of men would take it, as would half of women. The Irish Independent reported at the weekend Pfizer is due to submit its vaccine for emergency approval next month and if given the green light, could have 100 million doses ready to roll out before the end of 2020.

Assuming there is an agreement with the EU for the purchase of the vaccine, Ireland would be allocated a share based on population allowing for the two-dose vaccine to be offered to at-risk groups including healthcare workers, older people and those with underlying illnesses.

Paul Reid, managing director of Pfizer Ireland and president of the IPHA, said: "The development of vaccines is based on sound science, patient safety and clinical effectiveness.

"Teams of scientists are collaborating across disciplines and territories, and between research agencies and companies, to find a breakthrough for Covid-19. Immunisation is a global health and development success story, saving millions of lives every year.

"We now have vaccines to prevent more than 20 life-threatening diseases, helping people of all ages live longer, healthier lives."

No new deaths from the virus were reported yesterday but the number of new cases rose again to 1,025 after falling over Friday and Saturday.

Yesterday's cases included 255 in Dublin, 147 in Cork, 77 in Galway, 54 in Kildare and 53 in Donegal. The remaining 439 cases are spread across 21 counties.

As of 2pm yesterday, 315 Covid-19 patients were hospitalised, of whom 38 were in intensive care. There were 16 extra hospitalisations over the previous 24 hours. Chief medical officer Tony Holohan again appealed to people who are positive or have symptoms to self-isolate for 10 days.

Irish Independent


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