THE TÁNAISTE Leo Varadkar has offered some hope for the return to normality as the first vaccinations against Covid-19 have begun to be rolled out.
Fine Gael leader Mr Varadkar, speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland yesterday morning, said he believes Ireland will see the end of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2021.
Describing yesterday as "a day of hope" as people in the United Kingdom became the first in the world to receive the fully-tested and approved Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, the Tánaiste said the vaccines, along with mass testing and new knowledge about the virus, will bring an end to the pandemic in 2021.
He warned against the dangers of an 'anti-vax' movement which appears to be underway in Ireland, but reminded the public that vaccines are safe and effective, and have in the past mostly eliminated diseases such as smallpox and polio.
This year, the world "got a taste" of what life was like pre-vaccines, with thousands of deaths, lockdowns and quarantines, he said, adding that 2020 was "medieval".
Another lockdown or increased restrictions in January following the Christmas period could not be ruled out as cases are likely to rise, Mr Varadkar admitted, but the end of the pandemic is in sight.According to BreakingNews.ie
"If things work out with the summer, [there’s] the possibility of returning to things like football matches, and maybe even concerts and festivals and gatherings too,” he said.
"The first quarter of the year is still difficult," as it is still winter and the vaccination is still being deployed, but "the second quarter of the year, life is starting to look a little bit more normal again."
Yesterday morning, a 90-year-old Irish grandmother became the first person in the world to receive the full-tested Covid-19 vaccine.
Margaret Keenan, who turns 91 next week, said it was "the best early birthday present I could wish for."