‘If all the young people were vaccinated the country wouldn’t come to a standstill’

Over-60s across the country look forward to their second AstraZeneca jabs

Sixty-four-year-old Limerick man Peter O'Riordan, while out for a walk along the promenade in Salthill, Galway on Tuesday, is one of many over-60s concerned about the Covid-19 Delta variant.

O'Riordan, who received his first AstraZeneca (AZ) vaccination on May 2nd, is due to get his second in a fortnight. He said he is "very" worried now about the dangers posed by the latest variant.

Saying he is taking extra precautions, the Patrickswell man told The Irish Times: "I am conscious all the time but I try to be extra careful now."

He is perplexed at why younger people have already been fully vaccinated: “I’m disappointed a lot of people in their 50s got the 2nd dose, but I haven’t yet and I’m more vulnerable than them.”


Carmel Long, (62), from Ballybane, in Galway city is taking the same precautions she has taken from the beginning, saying she is "a bit, but not too much" more concerned about Delta. She got her first AZ jab on May 4th and is due to get her second in a fortnight, but believes the Government should be more cautious about encouraging travel into, or out of Ireland: "I just think they should be more restrictive."

In Skerries in North Dublin, Sheila Flanagan, (61), who received her first AZ jab six weeks, is staying calm: "I'd like to get it as quickly as possible but it's not keeping me awake, no."

She added: “My behaviour hasn’t really changed much. The Delta variant worries me, not in relation to my own personal health, it worries me more that it’ll have an impact nationally and will obstruct the reopening of the economy.”

Fellow Skerries woman Una Redmond was one of the many thousands who received her first AZ jab in The Helix in Dublin City University, about "eight, or 12 weeks ago", she remembers.


Nevertheless, she is not worried by the lag since her 68-year-old husband was only called for his second jab last week: “No, I’m not even thinking about it, do you know that sort of a way?

“ I’m sure I’ll get called in the next few weeks. I know that new variant now is on the go but I’ll look after myself, I’ll make sure I’m not mixing with too many people,” she went on.

However, she is unhappy when she hears people say they will not take any vaccine at all: “I know plenty now that won’t have it done, they’re refusing to have it done.

“For whatever reason you’ll hear them talking about it, they don’t believe in all that and just get on with life which I don’t think is good in that respect and won’t take it,” she said.

For now, though, she is staying calm and counting her health blessings: “I don’t worry about it though because I think if you did worry about it you’d be sick worrying.

In Naas, Co Kildare, Patricia Burke, who received her first AZ jab about seven weeks ago, is expecting her second in coming weeks: " I'll be glad to get the second one out of the way. I'm happy to go and get it."

However, the over-60s should have been covered more quickly, she believes: "I have younger brothers and sisters who are already vaccinated with Pfizer and Moderna. That's the only criticism I have."

Mary Earlie, from Ballymore Eustace, has been waiting for her second AZ jab since the end of April: "I would've preferred to get Pfizer but as I'm under 70 I couldn't get it off my doctor."

Unlike many, Earlie would have been happy to wait and let younger people of all ages be vaccinated first: “If all the young people were vaccinated and vaccinated twice the country wouldn’t come to a standstill.

“They’re the ones who are out working in the shops and the cafes. They’re the ones who are more inclined to party and mix,” she said, saying the State should have vaccinated everyone in nursing homes, and then started from 18 up.”