A NEW survey by national broadcaster RTÉ has revealed that almost one-third of the Irish population would not take a Covid-19 vaccine as soon as it becomes available.
The wide-ranging survey asked more than 1,300 people about their experiences since the pandemic took hold in Ireland, including how their mental health had been affected-- with 33% stating their mental health has suffered in the last six months.
Additionally, 41% of parents with children aged 12 to 17 felt their childrens' health had suffered as a result of the pandemic and the restrictions introduced.
The Behaviours and Attitudes poll, undertaken on behalf of RTÉ, asked those surveyed if they would be willing to take the first publicly available EU-approved vaccine for Covid-19, and almost one-third replied that they would be unwilling.
32% stated they would be unlikely to take the vaccine and 12% said they were unsure, compared to 56% of people who said it was likely they would take the first available vaccine.
Luke Reaper, the Managing Director of Behaviour and Attitudes told RTÉ Morning Ireland that the coronavirus pandemic had resulted in a hugely daunting task for governments around the world, as leaders scrambled to deal with an unprecedented crisis which had not been seen in living memory.
The all-island survey, which included 260 respondents from Northern Ireland, also revealed some positives, however: 90% of teenagers surveyed replied that they value their family more now than before the pandemic.
Irish health experts have warned we can expect to see at last another six to nine months of restrictions to slow the spread of Covid-19.