A survey of Government TDs has found that 96 per cent of those who responded said they will take a Covid-19 vaccine when it is first available to them.
The survey for RTÉ Radio One’s Today with Claire Byrne show was sent to all 160 TDs, including the Ceann Comhairle, and had a response rate of 93 per cent with 149 TDs responding.
Of those, 96.6 per cent or 144 TDs said they would take the vaccine, while two deputies were undecided.
Just three TDs said they would not take the vaccine, while 11 did not respond to the survey.
Government TDs seem set to lead by example on vaccine uptake ahead of the presentation of a vaccine roll-out plan to the Taoiseach and the Minister for Health on Friday.
It is believed the plan will recommend the appointment of so-called “vaccine ambassadors” or well-known public figures who will encourage people to take the jab.
All political parties have said that priority groups, advised by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, should be first to receive the vaccine and they do not expect preferential treatment as politicians.
It comes as the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, has said the population should not be concerned over reports of allergic reactions to a Covid-19 vaccine as this was not unusual.
Separately, a leading medical expert said advice by UK health authorities that people with a history of significant allergic reactions should not avail of Pfizer’s vaccine is “relatively normal”.
The Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Authority in the UK issued the warning on Wednesday after two NHS workers experienced anaphylactoid reactions after receiving a dose of the new vaccine.
Professor Ultan Power, professor of molecular virology at Queen’s University Belfast, said the fact that the two healthcare staff had been carrying EpiPens showed they were aware they had significant allergic reactions in the past.
It’s relatively normal to have reactions to all vaccines
Speaking on RTÉ Radio One’s Morning Ireland, Prof Power noted that trials on the Pfizer vaccine had also excluded anybody with a severe allergic reaction to any component of the vaccine.
“It’s relatively normal to have reactions to all vaccines,” he said.
The professor said doctors administering the vaccine should also be aware of their patient’s medical history in relation to any allergic reactions.
He added there was no evidence to date that there would be any problem with the vaccine for people with mild reactions such as hay fever.
“This information will become more clear as the roll-out happens,” he said.
Prof Power said it was also unclear at this stage if some of the various Covid-19 vaccines would cause more allergic reactions than others.