| 9.5°C Dublin

Adrian Kennedy: 'Get that jab and don't listen to anti-vax lies'


Mask up to protect others too

Mask up to protect others too

Mask up to protect others too

Earlier this week, an anti-mask, anti-vaccine individual (or group) went to the trouble of hitching a giant screen to the back of a car and towing it to a GP's clinic in Blanch- ardstown to spread fake news.

The rolling message on the screen highlighted what's going to be the big public debate of 2021 - ending Covid-19 with the roll-out of approved vaccines.

After displaying outrageous and misleading nonsense about face masks, urging people to take them off because they "spread disease" and "cause long-term damage to the lungs", the screen then displayed the most ridiculous message of all: "No forced vaccines."

It's on that ridiculous statement that I want to focus.

At no point in any country in the world has there been any suggestion that the population will be forced to take a Covid-19 vaccine.

Indeed, the World Health Organisation has said persuasion would be far preferable to forcing people to take vaccines.

To be honest, I'm beginning to despair of the amount of fake news rubbish that's circulating online.

For example, I saw a video yesterday from a young mother (who was involved in a protest outside Senator Malcolm Byrne's Gorey office this week) in which she claimed the vaccine contains human babies and that nobody will take away parents' choice to vaccinate their kids.

Well, to this woman and many like her who clearly spend far too much time seeking out fake news, please check all your information before you have any more sleepless nights and spread further unnecessary fear.

First, there's no tissue from an aborted human foetus in the Covid-19 vaccine, despite a Facebook video posted last month claiming there is.

Second, no child will be immunised against Covid yet because trials on young people have not been extensive enough for approval to be given.

That mother needn't worry. Nobody will be forced to take any vaccine.

When I go on holiday and board a large aircraft carrying hundreds of people, flying 10km high, I know I'm taking a risk.

The engines could fail, it could be hijacked or the pilot could be suicidal, but that's a risk most of us are willing to take.

Similarly with the vaccines coming our way, there may be some small risks.

However, I trust our medical experts and the scientific community behind the vaccines and believe them when they say they're safe.

Everything in life is a risk, but injecting a vaccine into my arm is one I'm more than happy to take to get my life (and this country) back on track.

It wouldn't bother me if in future we needed to carry a vaccination passport to travel or enter crowded spaces.

That's not forced vaccination, but it might just help persuade more people to get the jab and help Ireland achieve herd immunity against this scourge.