THE GOVERNMENT has no plans to make the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory in Ireland.
According to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, the public will be given the choice as to whether they receive one of the jabs once vaccines begin being rolled out from early next year.
That’s despite a poll published in the Irish Business Post showing that around 30% of the Irish public remain undecided about whether they will take it.
It also stands in stark contrast to plans being discussed across the European Union where many governments are considering making the Covid-19 vaccine mandatory.
Speaking to Gavan Reilly on Newstalk, Connelly confirmed that there are currently no plans to make it a requirement for the public to have the jab.
He said: "Several EU countries have introduced legislation on mandatory vaccination. We haven’t and I can tell you there has been no conversation at Government level about doing that."
Ireland is signed up to receive four of vaccines with a fifth set to be approved in the coming weeks.
The Health Minister confirmed that the vaccine is likely to be rolled out from January onwards.
"Potentially early in the new year we could be looking at things. I'd say December is unlikely, but quite soon... It is looking good. "
While he rejected the notion of making the vaccines mandatory, he also condemned the anti-vaxx movement that has been on the rise in Ireland over the past few months.
He said: "There is this anti-vaxx movement; a lot of what I have seen is misinformation and I think it is very dangerous but I think the vast amount of people see that for what it is and I think people are well-disposed to taking the vaccine when it comes out."