Everyone in Ireland likely to encounter Covid amid reopening, prof warns

ireland
Everyone In Ireland Likely To Encounter Covid Amid Reopening, Prof Warns Everyone In Ireland Likely To Encounter Covid Amid Reopening, Prof Warns
Prof Paddy Mallon said the chances of contracting the virus will depend on if someone is vaccinated and what precautions they take. Photo: PA Images.
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Everyone in Ireland is likely to be exposed to Covid-19 as society opens up in full, a consultant in infectious diseases has warned.

Prof Paddy Mallon said the chances of contracting the virus will depend on if someone is vaccinated and what precautions they take in the company of other people, according to The Irish Times.

Prof Mallon, a consultant at St Vincent’s Hospital in Dublin and Professor of Microbial Diseases in UCD, said the unvaccinated are most at risk.

“You could call it pessimistic or a heavy dose of realism, but just because you are going to come into contact with the virus, should not translate into this nihilistic attitude that I am going to throw caution to the wind,” he said.

“It’s still an infection you don’t want to be going out to get, but, at the same time, as we open up the more likely we are going to come in contact with the virus.”

Bulletproof

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Prof Mallon said the public should get used to the concept that vaccines do not make them “bulletproof” and they are still at risk of getting Covid-19.

“There is a realisation that vaccines protect you against severe disease, hospitalisation and death but the ability of vaccination to protect you against acquiring Covid-19 is much less,” he explained.

“There is still a risk associated with Covid. This is a concept we are going to have to grapple with. It’s about the reduction of risk, not the elimination of risk.

It is likely that when society opens that all of us at some time are going to come into contact with this virus

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“It is likely that when society opens that all of us at some time are going to come into contact with this virus.

“You can come into contact with this virus with the protection that a vaccine affords you in which case you are much less likely to get really sick or die than without vaccine protection.”

Prof Mallon said that basic health measures such as hand washing and cough etiquette would offer protection from coming into contact with Covid-19.

“If you are out socialising and mixing with other individuals, there is still a risk you will come into contact with the virus.”

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