HSE warns against young people 'intentionally' getting Covid-19 to obtain digital cert 

HSE warns against young people 'intentionally' getting Covid-19 to obtain digital cert 

Dr Hamilton said they are “strongly” advising young people against intentionally acquiring the disease adding that vaccination provides better immunity than infection.

Young people may be “intentionally” acquiring Covid-19 in order to obtain a Covid Digital Certificate, a specialist in public health has warned.

Dr Douglas Hamilton of HSE Public Health Midlands said it has recently come to their attention that “a number” of teenagers and young adults may have acquired Covid-19 intentionally at social events in order to obtain the Covid Digital Certificate. 

Speaking to Midlands 103, Dr Hamilton said the department has heard from “very concerned parents” who provided examples of such a practice.

“They say there may have been parties or gatherings where their children, in the age group of 16 to 25, may have gone with the intention of getting Covid and then getting the Covid cert to give them the chance to travel.” 

Dr Hamilton described the practice as “very concerning” and warned it is “extremely risky and dangerous” behaviour.

A number of teenagers and young adults may have acquired Covid-19 intentionally at social events in order to obtain the Covid Digital Certificate. 
A number of teenagers and young adults may have acquired Covid-19 intentionally at social events in order to obtain the Covid Digital Certificate. 

In a statement, HSE Public Health Midlands said the currently circulating Delta variant has higher morbidity and mortality rates, including for younger people.

“With this comes higher rates of long Covid, potentially resulting in lifelong cardiac, respiratory, cerebral or renal disease."

“It also carries a high risk of onwards spread to elderly and other vulnerable people, who may not have mounted as good an immune response to vaccination as younger and fully fit people, putting them at risk of serious disease," they said. 

Dr Hamilton said they are “strongly” advising against intentionally acquiring the disease adding that vaccination provides better immunity than infection.

“We therefore advise that young people (18 to 24 years old) register as soon as possible to get vaccinated.” 

The warning came as over 1,300 new cases of Covid-19 were reported this afternoon, 87% of which are in those under the age of 45.

Appeal for vaccination

The Taoiseach has made a direct appeal to young people to "take the opportunity" to get the vaccine stating it will "help us defeat this."

This evening, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly announced that registration for those aged 16 and 17 will start on Tuesday.

Young people can currently register for a vaccine through the vaccination portal the vaccination portal with a Personal Public Service (PPS) number, eircode, a mobile phone number and an email address or can call HSELive on 1800 700 700 to register.

This age cohort can also book a Janssen vaccine appointment, which offers full protection after a single dose at a participating pharmacy.

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