Half of vaccinated people yet to receive booster intend to get one soon, says poll

Four out of five people in the population have been administered a booster

Only half of vaccinated people who have yet to receive a booster dose against Covid-19 intend to get one soon, according to polling commissioned by the Government.

Meanwhile, the Department of Health has reported 5,035 positive PCR cases of Covid-19 in Ireland. In addition, a further 4,406 positive antigen tests have been registered on the HSE website, bringing the day's cases to a combined total of 9,441. As of 8am, there were 639 patients with Covid-19, including 58 in intensive care.

Four out of five people in the population have been administered a booster but among those who are vaccinated but have yet to get a third dose, interest appears to be waning significantly.

In the overall vaccinated population, 8 per cent say they would not get a booster if offered one next week. This is double the level recorded last November, according to the Amarach Research public opinion tracker for the Department of Health.

Among those who are fully vaccinated and have yet to receive a booster, 50 per cent said they would take one if it was offered next week. This compares to 86 per cent last November.

Sixty percent of men in this group would decline the booster, and 40 per cent of women.

When asked why they are hesitating to accept a booster, 51 per cent said they didn’t think it would make any difference. Almost half (46 per cent) have had Covid-19 recently and have to wait three months before they can be administered a vaccine. One-third say they feel safe enough as they are already vaccinated and one-fifth say they are worried about side-effects.

Some 97 per cent of the adult population reported being fully vaccinated.

Some 15 per cent of adults reported having Covid-like symptoms last week; 30 per cent took an antigen test and 4 per cent took a PCR test.

Face masks

The proportion of people wearing a face-mask in public places has fallen to 80 per cent, the lowest level since mid-2020, according to the tracker. Adherence with face-mask wearing is much lower among men (68 per cent) than women (92 per cent).

Three-quarters of people believe the worst of the pandemic is behind us, well up on the 33 per cent recorded last November. While 4 per cent still believe the worst is ahead of us and 6 per cent say it is happening now.

At 71 per cent, public support for the Government’s pandemic response is at its highest level in almost two years, with only 10 per cent saying it is “too extreme”.

In relation to further restrictions, 21 per cent are in favour and 68 per cent there shouldn’t be any. Almost one-third of people say Ireland is returning to normal too quickly.

Meanwhile, Covid-19 continues to be detected in all wastewater treatment plants around the country, according to the latest update from the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. Detections of SARS-CoV-2 RNA increased in 16 out of 68 wastewater catchment areas, remained steady in 36 and decreased by over 10 per cent in 16 areas.

“These results are in keeping with the ongoing high incidence rate of Covid-19 currently being seen throughout Ireland,” the HPSC said.

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen

Paul Cullen is Health Editor of The Irish Times