Readers like you keep news free for everyone.

More than 5,000 readers have already pitched in to keep free access to The Journal.

For the price of one cup of coffee each week you can help keep paywalls away.

Support us today
Not now
Saturday 25 March 2023 Dublin: 6°C
# all i want for christmas
Taoiseach: Covid vaccine could be a 'wonderful Christmas voucher' for next year
Micheál Martin told Virgin Media that the Covid-19 vaccine “gives us hope, and enables us to say, ‘let’s double down’.”

TAOISEACH MICHEÁL MARTIN has said that a coronavirus vaccine won’t be ready in time for Christmas, but could be a “wonderful Christmas present, as in, a voucher for the next 12 months”.

Speaking to Virgin Media News, Martin said that the European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines could get authorization from EU and US regulatory authorities in the second half of December.

He said that this wouldn’t mean it would be ready in time for Christmas, but that it could be a “wonderful Christmas present, as in, a voucher for the next 12 months”. 

The Taoiseach said a high-level taskforce would need to be established to “go through the logistics” of rolling out the vaccine to people, adding that a 70% take-up was needed to achieve herd immunity.

Martin, who is a former health minister, said that there will be a “strong” public information campaign around the vaccine, and pointed out that vaccines have proved to be an important public health measure down through history in eliminating viruses. 

Everything we have been doing has been worth it. Everything we’ve been doing in terms of the personal sacrifices, and it’s been very hard for people.
“The vaccines gives us hope. And also it enables us to say, ‘let’s double down’. Let’s just not lose pace in the final ten minutes of this and give it everything we have to keep the virus under pressure.”


Micheál Martin said that his aim is to have a “safe, meaningful Christmas”, with this meaning there will be no crowds or gathering in pubs.

When asked would people be allowed to travel and meet with their families for Christmas, Martin said that he didn’t want to preempt a government decision, and would want to see the number of Covid-19 cases at the end of the month. 

When asked about when people will travel abroad for Christmas, Micheál Martin said that many people have decided not to fly home for Christmas, but that a decision will be made at the end of the month.

Other government figures have indicated clarity around this will be given at the end of next week. 

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment

    Leave a commentcancel