Wednesday, 24 November 2021
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
Micheál Martin (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail)
I agree with the Deputy in the sense that key to the vaccination programme has to be constant encouragement and persuasion. In some minority groupings, for example, which may culturally have some challenges with vaccination, there has been a reach-out from the HSE and a specific targeted focus that is yielding results in terms of increased numbers.
The Deputy is correct in stating that whereas it is a rate of 7% overall, there is a higher percentage of those who have not come forward for vaccination in that age cohort he identified and even in the 12 to 17 age cohort.
There is an ongoing communications approach but also pop-up vaccination centres have been provided, particularly in third level, for example, to make it accessible for those who have not yet come forward.
At the weekend, I was talking to the CEO, who said 1,900 people had come forward for their first dose in one particular area at the weekend, which illustrates this is still worth engagement. It is still worth pursuing that 7%, particularly as it is manifested in certain age cohorts and in certain groupings.
I agree 100% with the Deputy that, as we roll out the booster, we are also asking people to please come forward for a vaccination and that it matters and will protect them and their loved ones.