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Young Irish people 'less likely to get vaccinated' than overall population, survey finds

Vaccination rate in Ireland is highest in the EU – but 18 to 34-year-olds still showing signs of hesitancy.

A box with empty vials of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is pictured at an HSE vaccination centre.
A box with empty vials of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines is pictured at an HSE vaccination centre.
Image: Alamy Stock Photo

YOUNG PEOPLE ARE still less likely to get vaccinated for COVID-19 compared with the population overall, a survey has found.

The findings were made in the latest research carried out by Ipsos MRBI for the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), the representative organisation for the originator biopharmaceutical industry.

The survey shows that vaccine hesitancy is at 13% in the 18 to 34-year-old age group.

That figure is composed of 8% who said they would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine and 5% who said they were unsure.

In the population overall, COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy is 9%, with 6% saying they would not get vaccinated for the disease while 3% are unsure.

Last October, when IPHA began tracking public appetite for COVID-19 vaccines, 12% of people said they would not get vaccinated for COVID-19 and 33% said they were unsure. That means COVID-19 hesitancy in the population overall has dropped by 36 points in 11 months.

Overall, 91% of people either intend to get vaccinated for COVID-19 or have already received a vaccine for the disease, according to the research.

The results show that 2% of people will take a COVID-19 vaccine but, when combined with the cohort that has received at least one COVID-19 vaccine dose, or 88% of the sample, that number rises to 91%.

Just 6% of people would refuse a COVID-19 vaccine – a proportion that has remained relatively stable since the start of the year.

Bernard Mallee, Director of Communications and Advocacy at IPHA, praised Ireland for its uptake of vaccines.

“Vaccination is the difference. It is reducing serious illness, hospitalisations and deaths caused by COVID-19.

“Even though vaccine hesitancy is more prevalent in younger people than the overall population, Ireland’s vaccination rate in the community is still among the highest in Europe. There should be no room for complacency, though.

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“It is vital that we engage with people of all ages in continuing to build trust in science and in facts, and in maximising vaccinations across the eligible population. We have clear evidence of the real-time effectiveness of vaccination for COVID-19.

“Strong public health messaging on safety – whether during trials or in the community – helps to build public confidence,” he said. 

The survey was conducted by Ipsos MRBI who carried out 1,004 telephone interviews with adults aged over 18 between September 1st and 14th, 2021.

The sample was nationally representative for age, gender, geography and social class. 

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