The Irish Farmers' Association (IFA) is appealing to eligible people to get a second Covid booster vaccine.
The chair of the Farm Family and Social Affairs at the IFA, Alice Doyle, made the call today (Thursday June 30), stating she was "taken aback" to hear only 46% of eligible people have availed of the vaccine.
She said, "I would like to re-iterate the advice that those over 65, and those with underlying conditions over the age of 12, should arrange to get their 2nd booster.”
According to an ESRI survey from July 2020 (Differences in Risk of Severe Outcomes from Covid-19 across Occupations in Ireland), agricultural workers such as farmers were highlighted as high risk for chronic illness due to the average age of people in the occupation.
However, exposure to the virus may have been lowered due to the nature of farming work and the closure of gathering places such as marts.
The latest data (April 2022) from the Central Statistics Office (CSO) shows over 95% of Local Electoral Areas (LEAs) have a Covid-19 booster vaccination rate of 60% or more.
Male employees across all sectors aged 18-24 years have the lowest Covid-19 booster vaccine uptake rate at 45%, while those in the Accommodation and Food Service sector had the lowest uptake rate at 56%.
Over 13,000 cases of Covid-19 have been reported in the week leading up to June 28, according to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC), with a 14-day rate of 495.4 per 100,000 people.
Ms Doyle continued: "The clear advice from the HSE is that the vaccine offers the best protection, particularly for people who have underlying conditions. I would ask people to make an appointment as soon as possible."
She confirmed the IFA will extend the appeal through their network to spread the message to as many people as possible.
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