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Three-quarters of people say they will take Covid-19 vaccine

Almost one-fifth of people are unsure and 7% will not take a vaccine, according to a new survey.

Dr Fiona Moynihan administering the Moderna vaccine GPs at the HSE National Ambulance Service HQ on 16 January.
Dr Fiona Moynihan administering the Moderna vaccine GPs at the HSE National Ambulance Service HQ on 16 January.
Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

THREE-QUARTERS OF people will take a Covid-19 vaccine, according to the results of a new opinion poll.

The survey shows that 75% of people will take a Covid-19 vaccine; almost one-fifth (18%) are unsure and 7% said they will not take one.

The findings are from a survey carried out by Ipsos MRBI for the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA) which represents the international research-based biopharmaceutical industry.

As many women as men (75%) said they will take a Covid-19 vaccine.

According to the poll, the age group most likely to take a vaccine are the over-65s (86%), followed by people aged between 55 and 64 (80%).

Of the 7% of people overall who said they will not take a Covid 19 vaccine, this level is highest among 25 to 34-year-olds.

The figures show a 20-point rise in the number of people who will take a Covid-19 vaccine since a similar survey on vaccine sentiment was carried out in October.

Then, 12% of people said they would not take a vaccine – down five points to 7% in the latest survey. The number of people who said they were unsure is down 15 points since October.

Oliver O’Connor, chief executive of IPHA, said the new survey “shows there is a strong public appetite for taking a Covid-19 vaccine”.

“Immunisation on a sufficient scale is all that separates us from an indefinite series of lockdowns. It is vital that as many people as possible get vaccinated so that we can all return to normality or, at least, some version of it.

“We would ask people to bear with the health authorities as they roll out the vaccination programme nationwide. Our public health experts and officials, as well as frontline healthcare workers and the government, are working hard to inoculate the population on a phased basis. That will take time so we should try to be patient.”

Ipsos MRBI conducted 1,001 telephone interviews with adults aged over 18 between 4 and 14 January for the survey, and said participants were nationally representative for age, gender, geography and social class.

Vaccine rollout

Taoiseach Micheál Martin on Saturday said that the rollout of the Covid-19 vaccine to over-70s may be delayed because of production issues with the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Speaking to RTÉ Radio 1, Martin said the government was waiting on this vaccine and that its delay will “put us in a problem”.

“AstraZeneca was going to be the catalyst to be allowed to move from low level to mass vaccination,” Martin said.

However he said it is still the government’s aim to deliver mass vaccination by the end of June, adding that April, May and June will be key months in terms of the rollout.

“There are contractual arrangements between the European Commission and AstraZeneca, and I expect some very robust meetings in the coming days and engagements between the European Commission and AstraZeneca.”

On Friday British pharmaceutical firm AstraZeneca has warned that supplies of its Covid-19 vaccine to Europe will be “lower than originally anticipated” due to reduced production at a manufacturing site.

The vaccine it developed with the University of Oxford in England is already being rolled out across the UK, but the European Union has not yet approved its use. It is expected to make a decision by 29 January.

In a statement issued yesterday evening, the Irish Department of Health said it was aware of the issue and “monitoring” the developments.

“The Department of Health and the HSE representatives are monitoring the situation closely and will attend a future European Commission meeting with AstraZeneca scheduled for next week,” the statement noted.

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Covid-19 vaccines by Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna are currently in use in Ireland.

More than 50 Covid-19 vaccine candidates are in trials, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

Vaccines go through a three-stage clinical trials process before they are sent to regulatory agencies, such as the European Medicines Agency in Europe or the Food and Drug Administration in the US, for approval. The last stage, Phase III, involves tens of thousands of tested patients.

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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