YOUNG WOMEN are statistically the least likely group of people to accept the coronavirus vaccine in Ireland, according to a new study.
Research conducted by the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG) showed that young people were generally more reluctant to get vaccinated than their elder counterparts, but women under 30 in particular were the least likely to get one.
Over 1,000 participants took part in the study from across Ireland as well the UK, and were asked questions around vaccine hesitancy between January and March of this year.
The study, which was conducted in collaboration with the University of Huddersfield, found that 75% of people would gladly take the vaccine, while 11% said they won't be taking it, and 14% were unsure.
Of women under 30, just over 20% indicated a high level of hesitancy over the jab.
This reluctance has been put down to "issues around fertility," as well as peer pressure from friends and family, according to Dr Jane Walsh, senior lecturer in psychology at NUIG.
"Understanding vaccine hesitancy is key to addressing public concerns, promoting confidence, and increasing vaccine uptake," Dr Walsh said.
"These findings suggest that messages that are channelled through relevant social influencers may have a significant impact on vaccine uptake.
"This influence was particularly strong in the 'no' and 'unsure' group," she added.
"It is also concerning that those who vote no to the vaccine have a lower sense of civic responsibility. But what is clear, in general, is that there is still a high level of uncertainty around Covid-19 vaccination."
Ireland's Health Service Executive (HSE), along with health bodies around the globe, has frequently insisted that there is no evidence that the vaccines affect fertility.