Taoiseach willing to take Covid-19 vaccine publicly but 'not as PR stunt'

Micheál Martin said that he was not nervous about pubs and restaurants reopening today, but urged those in attendance to use their judgement about the safety of their individual activities.
Taoiseach willing to take Covid-19 vaccine publicly but 'not as PR stunt'

Taoiseach Micheal Martin said he "had no difficulty in letting people know" that he was taking the vaccine, but said that he would not take one purely as a PR stunt. File Picture

The Taoiseach is willing to take a Covid-19 vaccine publicly, but "not as a PR opportunity".

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Micheál Martin said that he "had no difficulty in letting people know" that he was taking the vaccine, but said that he would not take one purely as a PR stunt.

He said: “I will be taking the vaccine in accordance with the prioritisation attached to it by the public health authorities.

"Vaccines, historically, have saved the world on a number of occasions in terms of eliminating very dangerous viruses and diseases. And, you know, I have faith in the authorisation agencies in Europe and in the States for authorisation of these vaccines. 

"I am conscious of the damage that the virus is doing to so many people into society, but I do believe the vaccine to be very important and I will be taking the vaccine.

I have no difficulty in letting people know that. I don’t want to be doing it ostensibly just for the sake of doing it, or some sort of PR opportunity. That wouldn’t be my agenda.

Mr Martin said that he was not nervous about pubs and restaurants reopening today, but urged those in attendance to use their judgement about the safety of their individual activities.

"The first point I would make is that we've had six weeks of severe restrictions and that cannot be understated but there is always a limit to the degrees of which government can impose such serious restrictions on people over a long period of time. 

"Secondly, there is an economic and social and mental wellbeing aspect and importance to be attached to opening restaurants and non-essential retail. 

"There are 150,000 people who are back to work and more as a result of these decisions, that's important for those individuals and for those businesses who need some certainty out there in the future as well. 

"That their businesses can remain intact as we learn to cope with Covid-19. 

"Thirdly, personal responsibility, collective responsibility is going to be central to all of this. There are risks attached to this. Without doubt there are risks attached. 

"So personal behaviour is very, very important to all of this. We are stressing to people that we need you to act as if you have the virus, that you don't wish to spread it to anybody else, and just be conscious this week that every contact counts."

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