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Half of public would say yes to vaccine for Covid

Optimism growing as drug firm looks for rapid approval

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Covid-19 vaccines that could be just months away

Covid-19 vaccines that could be just months away

Covid-19 vaccines that could be just months away

Just over half of the population would sign up for a Covid-19 vaccine, a new survey reveals.

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

It comes as Tánaiste Leo Varadkar revealed he and the Government were optimistic about the roll-out of a vaccine early next year.

A poll released today found 55pc would get the Covid-19 vaccine were one available.

One-third of people 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 available by the end of the year.

It came as the confirmed cases of Covid-19 yesterday rose again to 1,025.

The poll findings provided reassurance however that older people, an at-risk group 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 Herald 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 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.

"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."

A Covid-19 vaccine has the potential to gradually reduce illness and death over the first half of 2021 and alleviate the need for lockdowns.

A major promotional campaign could likely involve President Michael D Higgins and Taoiseach Micheál Martin being photographed getting the vaccine.

Meanwhile, 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.

Essential

There were 16 additional 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.

"If you're a confirmed case, have had a test or have symptoms of Covid-19, you must self-isolate for 10 days," he said.

"If you live with a case or have been told you're a close contact, you must restrict your movements for 14 days.

"Everyone else should stay at home, unless for essential reasons or for exercise within 5km of where you live."

Northern Ireland reported eight deaths and 896 new cases of the virus yesterday.


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