High vaccination rates giving 'significant buffer' for reopening, says Nphet member

ireland
High Vaccination Rates Giving 'Significant Buffer' For Reopening, Says Nphet Member
Dr Mary Favier said caution would become the "new normal".
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Vivienne Clarke

A member of the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet), Dr Mary Favier has said she is optimistic about the easing of restrictions, but warned caution would become the "new normal".

Speaking on Newstalk Breakfast, the Covid adviser to the Irish College of General Practitioners said the high vaccination rates in the country would provide “a significant buffer”, however, even a 100 per cent rate would not be enough.

Ireland’s high vaccination rate, the second highest in Europe, had been exceptional, she said, with Irish people “stepping up” to protect themselves and others.

Unfortunately, there were still outbreaks occurring which would mean increased hospitalisations while outbreaks in nursing homes would mean deaths, she added.

The reopening of schools and colleges was an important step, Dr Favier said, but there was a need to be mindful of the rise of Covid in the community, particularly in the 19-24 years age group.

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So much of what will happen in the future will depend on the actions of the public, which means measures such as hand-washing, mask wearing and social distancing remained important, she said.

“Schools are going to be a challenge, but it is one we can meet,” Dr Favier added.

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