Nphet asks unvaccinated to postpone travel as hospitalisations at two-month high

ireland
Nphet Asks Unvaccinated To Postpone Travel As Hospitalisations At Two-Month High
Professor Philip Nolan said holidaying abroad while unvaccinated was a real risk. Photo: PA Images.
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Vivienne Clarke

The National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) is appealing to those who are not yet fully vaccinated to postpone their travel plans.

Professor Philip Nolan, chair of Nphet’s modelling advisory group, said holidaying abroad while unvaccinated was a real risk.

It comes as Covid-19 hospitalisations reached an almost two-month high on Friday, with 106 patients currently in hospital, and 23 people in intensive care.

Prof Nolan told Newstalk Breakfast that unvaccinated people who travel abroad could become severely ill, and aside from this risk to themselves, they could also infect others.

He acknowledged that the number of people who end up seriously ill as a result of travel could be small, but it still represented a risk to the unvaccinated population who could get a significant or severe infection.

Fuelling infections

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Prof Nolan said Nphet was “not so much concerned” about travel fuelling infections in Ireland, but more worried about the impact on individuals and those they come into contact with.

“We are not so much concerned about this fuelling the next wave of the epidemic. It is now doing that, it is a relatively minor contributor in the grand scheme of things to the amount of transmission we are seeing on the island,” he said.

“But it is important. It is important because it is an unvaccinated population and it presents a risk to them and risk to others.”

Prof Nolan said people should wait for their vaccine to be fully effective before they travel.

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“Get your vaccine, wait for it to be effective. Wait the seven days after your second dose of Pfizer, wait the 14 days after your final dose of the other vaccines and in the meantime avoid those high-risk activities,” he said.

“They are not safe for you and if you pick it up, they are not safe for the people you might pass this virus on to – the people you love.”

Prof Nolan urged people to “stick to the basics” over the coming weeks and to avoid high risk indoor socialisation.

“We’re exhausted, it’s summer, we wish it was all over and we are just letting it slip. We are up in each other’s faces, we are sharing our droplets, sprays and aerosols and that is how the virus is transmitting.”

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