Covid-19: it’s a summer of hope and of ‘wait and see’

By Kilkenny Observer Reporter

The HSE expects to administer up to 40,000 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine before the end of this month as less onerous restrictions will be applied to it compared with the over-60 rule imposed on AstraZeneca. Although the European Medicines Agency (EMA) issued a rider saying in very rare cases it too can cause blood clots.
The news comes as mass vaccination centres open across the country, including Carlow and Kilkenny. Cillin Hill and the Barrow Centre at IT Carlow are now vaccinating those aged 65 to 69 who have registered for appointments. However, there is growing disquiet among a minority of that group because they are being offered only the AstraZeneca jab, predominantly associated with clots.
Despite ongoing delays in the continued supply of vaccines, Taoiseach Micheal Martin reiterated in the Dail that 80% of all adults would be vaccinated by the end of June.

June ‘too soon’
It’s a ‘wait and see’ scenario as Tanaiste Leo Varadkar said June was “too soon” for fully vaccinated Irish people to travel abroad for summer holidays, while Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said there was “good news on the horizon” for non-essential travel in the coming months. However, any concessions promised for May 10 would ‘not go any further, according to Mr Varadkar.
Meanwhile, Ibec, the group that represents Irish business, released new research that highlights the impact Covid has had on the working lives of women in business in Ireland. The findings confirm the concerns that Covid has the potential to regress hard-earned progress in gender equity.
The Ibec survey, carried out in March, sought to examine the impact of Covid on women and reveals that 20% of organisations had noticed a change in the position of women in their organisations in the past 12 months, citing changes such as increased pressure and stress for women, childcare responsibilities, and access to work flexibility to accommodate childcare and/or eldercare.
Ibec also said restrictions have meant that thousands of transition year students have missed out on developing the practical, personal and social skills, and to gain insights and ideas about the world of work.
To combat this Ibec is partnering with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals in Ireland (NAPD) to deliver ‘TY Talks 21’, an online conference for Transition Year students.

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