TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has attempted to allay fears about the safety of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine by saying he'd happily take the jab if he was offered one.
Martin said on Friday that the Government was "gearing up" to resume administering the vaccine after its use was temporarily suspended in Ireland due to concerns about its links to blood clots.
These fears have since been quashed, and a report conducted by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) shown no link between the jab and a handful of instances where patients developed blood clots.
An official decision on whether or not to resume the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected at some point later today.
Asked whether he would take the AstraZeneca vaccine, Mr Martin said: “Yes I would, I would indeed."
Speaking at the Port of Cork on Friday as he announced €405 million funding for regeneration projects in Cork city and county, Martin added that he "expected" a decision to be made today on restarting administration of the AstraZeneca jab.
"We're gearing up in terms of resuming that."
The Taoiseach was also pressed on reports that lockdown is to be extended in Ireland until the end of June.
He insisted that he wouldn't speculate about changes to the public health restrictions for April and that the Government will inform the public in the next couple of weeks of any changes to the measures.
"I am not going to speculate but we will give people clear indications in advance of the 5th of April as to how we see April panning out," Martin said.
"I don't believe in speculating beyond that and we will certainly make it very clear to people.
"We are thinking and reflecting on the outdoor situation and outdoor activities and what might be possible there because mental health is very important."