Masks and social distancing will remain in Ireland for months - Dr Ronan Glynn

Masks and social distancing will remain in Ireland for months - Dr Ronan Glynn

FACE masks and social distancing will likely continue in Ireland until the new year, according to deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn.

In a video posted to the Department of Health's social media page on Sunday, Dr Glynn urged the public to continue adhering to public health measures and insisted that the fastest way out of the pandemic was to follow the advice of experts.

"We need to continue using all of the tools that are available to us," he said.

"All of these measures will continue to be really important over the coming months."

He also hammered home the importance of vaccination, saying that the "job" of a jab is to "train the immune system to recognise and defend itself against disease".

Dr Glynn explained that vaccines allow the body to fight off a virus, without the disease making the individual seriously ill. They are made up of "weak or dead germs" which the body is able to fight off without much problem, and ensures it knows exactly what to do the next time it comes under attack from the same virus.

"When a person receives a vaccine, it triggers an immune response and the person builds a supply of defensive white blood cells," he said, adding that the process usually takes "about two weeks to work, making you able to fight off the virus after two weeks post-jab."

If you are exposed to the virus after these two weeks, "these white blood cells recognise the virus and go into action quickly and protect the person from the virus."

Dr Glynn stressed that the vaccines won't make you sick, but that having symptoms such as a fever after a job is perfectly "normal".

"They're a sign that your body is building immunity."

He ended by stating that vaccines have - other than clean water - saved more lives than any other public health intervention.