ADVOCATE for the elderly Paddy O’Brien has raised concerns about people thinking “they can do what they like” after receiving the first dose of the vaccine.
The founder of the popular Over 60s Talent Competition has called on the Government and the HSE to inform people to continue adhering to current restrictions after receiving their first jab.
A lot of people are under the false impression that once they get their first vaccination that they can do what they like, and I think it requires care from the Government and the HSE on what the reality of the situation is.
Mr O’Brien said he has spoken to people who believe they can go out, visit places, and travel beyond a 5km radius of their homes.
He highlighted that it has been 12 months since many elderly people have left their homes or have had visitors to their homes, and that he can “appreciate the joy” that vaccinations bring to those people, but that they must be given more information.
“I commend and salute the elderly for being so good in adhering to the restrictions, regardless of how hurt they have been for the last 12 months, remaining indoors, having no visitors, and wearing face masks,” he said.
“The vaccine gives people hope and that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel and it’s the first step in getting back to normality.”
Dr John Sheehan of Blackpool Bridge Surgery said that “people aren’t safe until a week to 10 days after the second dose of the vaccine”.
“The first vaccine will only offer some element of protection,” he said. “It’s about a week to 10 days after the second dose is when people can start to feel more secure, but people should still take precautions in terms of handwashing and wearing masks, but that’s when things will start opening up, certainly not after the first vaccine.
“It’s important that we do get that message out there.”
Dr Sheehan said that there was “such a sense of relief” on Friday last when his patients over the age of 85 received their vaccinations, but warned that this period is “danger time”.
“It’s like coming down a mountain,” he said.
“That’s the most dangerous time where people let their guard down, feel like we’re nearly there, and then suddenly the whole thing kicks off, so certainly it’s so important that we would keep our guard up until people get their second dose of the vaccine.”
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