The pandemic is boosting confidence in vaccines as nine out of ten people now believe vaccines are generally effective

The pandemic has boosted people’s confidence in vaccines, with more than nine in 10 now saying they are effective – up 12 points in two years, according to a new Ipsos survey.

The survey, commissioned by the Irish Pharmaceutical Healthcare Association (IPHA), follows the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines over the past 15 months.

About 91 percent say they believe vaccines are beneficial in general, compared with 79 percent asked the same question two years ago. But four in five people say there is misinformation about vaccines — a 15-point increase since just before the pandemic.

Women and younger people are more likely than men and older cohorts to seek more information about vaccines.

Doctors and nurses are the most trusted source of vaccine information, followed by scientists, vaccine specialists, pharmacists and official websites.

A third of people trust traditional media sources for accurate vaccine information, followed by politicians at 13 percent.

The least trusted source of information was user-generated online content.

Bernard Mallee, Director of Communications and Advocacy at IPHA said: “The public clearly trusts vaccines to stop disease and people trust experts with the facts about vaccines. It is likely that Covid-19 has increased public awareness of the role of vaccines in improving health.

“Despite having world-class immunization coverage for Covid-19, a significant number of adults remain unvaccinated against other vaccine-preventable diseases. We hope that can change. Before the introduction of vaccines for smallpox, rubella, measles, pneumonia, tuberculosis and polio, outbreaks of these diseases severely damaged communities in Ireland.”

Sam McConkey, Associate Professor and Head of the Department of International Health and Tropical Medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons, meanwhile, told dem Irish Independent: “People are seeing thousands of cases of Covid over the past few months, but we’re not seeing the same illnesses, deaths and disabilities as we did in 2020 or 2021, and the main difference is that we have the vaccines… We’ve had a very high level of uptake when vaccinating vulnerable and elderly people. We saw how much better January, February and March are this year compared to last year.”

However, Prof McConkey believed people should continue to wear masks in crowded places, indoors and outdoors, including on public transport, to protect those in need of protection.

Hospital Covid numbers have risen to the highest since February 2021. There were 1,185 Covid patients in hospital yesterday. There had been 153 new cases and 45 discharges in the past 24 hours. About 49 people were treated in intensive care units for the disease.

Prof McConkey said he expected the majority of people would need to be offered a fourth Covid-19 vaccination in September but was not cornered about the current rise in cases as there are much less serious cases due to high vaccination levels give.

“When it comes time for a fourth vaccination, hopefully that will target Omicron and BA2 (strains),” he said. “Because the vaccines are targeted with a virus from two years ago.” The pandemic is boosting confidence in vaccines as nine out of ten people now believe vaccines are generally effective

Fry Electronics Team

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