The uptake rate of Covid-19 vaccines in Ireland among adults from central and eastern Europe is less than half the rate of inoculation among Irish nationals, new figures show.
Vaccine uptake rates for Irish nationals stood at 90 per cent, compared to 44 per cent among central and eastern European immigrant communities, according to Central Statistics Office (CSO) figures published on Thursday.
Among 18-24 year olds from central and eastern Europe, Covid-19 vaccination rates were only 36 per cent.
Vaccination rates increased to 44 per cent among those aged 65 and above in these communities, compared to 96 per cent of Irish nationals aged 65 or older.
Uptake rates were highest among the 45-64 year olds from central and eastern Europe, with 51 per cent vaccinated.
The statistics were based on vaccination rates of people living in Ireland who had come from countries that joined the European Union in 2004.
That includes the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia.
The vaccine uptake rates of British nationals in the Republic was 79 per cent, and 70 per cent among 18 to 24-year-olds.
Vaccination rates of foreign nationals from other European countries were also lower than the overall average.
Slightly more than two thirds of people from original EU countries living in Ireland, such as Germany, France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, were vaccinated.
The figures were based on Health Service Executive (HSE) vaccination data up to September 10th.
The CSO noted the figures may be an “underrepresentation” of vaccine rates for immigrant communities, as it did not include “those who may have been vaccinated outside of the State”.
Teresa Buczkowska, integration manager at the Immigrant Council of Ireland, told The Irish Times there was a “high level of misinformation” circulating in Polish communities in Ireland. Misinformation about vaccine side effects originating in Poland was being shared on Facebook and other social media platforms among Polish people here, she said.
Ms Buczkowska said the Government’s message about vaccine safety and solidarity “never reached migrant communities.”