Varadkar tells CNN that Ireland’s unvaccinated are 'causing a lot of the trouble'

Varadkar tells CNN that Ireland’s unvaccinated are 'causing a lot of the trouble'

TANAISTE Leo Varadkar told CNN’s Becky Anderson on Thursday that Ireland’s unvaccinated population are “causing a lot of trouble”.

The comments came a day after the government announced a U-turn on its loosening of Covid-19 restrictions on Wednesday, November 17, amid a rise in cases.

With one of the most vaccinated populations in the world, Mr Varadkar’s previous optimism about Ireland avoiding a fourth lockdown seemed justified at the time.

“Things were going so well," Varadkar told the interviewer on CNN's Connect the World programme.

He continued: "As a nation, we're a little bit crestfallen, a little bit heartbroken" about having to reintroduce restrictions.

"We do have among the highest vaccination rates in the world – around 94% of adults are fully vaccinated”, he said.

“Unfortunately, the five percent that are not are causing a lot of the trouble.

"About five percent are not fully vaccinated, but about fifty percent of people in hospital and ICU are not fully vaccinated, so even that five percent can create a lot of difficulty.”

Compounding the problem, Varadkar pointed to evidence of waning immunity among the vaccinated, making the successful rollout of booster jabs all the more crucial.

"We're providing what I'm now calling 'the third dose'”, he said.

“I think this is going to be a three-dose vaccine.”

"Some vaccines require three doses. Two isn't going to be enough, so we are extending that now to more than half the adult population.

“Anyone over 50 and then anyone under 50 with medical conditions – and I'd anticipate that we'd offer the third dose to everyone, as has been the case in other countries."

“I’d really encourage anyone who’s not vaccinated to still come forward and do so. And that is happening, we are actually now seeing an increase in people who had shied away from getting vaccinated up until now, now coming forward and that’s a positive.”