Prof Liam Fanning said there were ‘simple things’ the public could be allowed to do outdoors, especially in areas with few cases

A leading virologist has called for a “vaccination dividend” under which people who have been vaccinated would be allowed to mix freely with others who have been vaccinated.
Liam Fanning, professor of immunovirology at University College Cork, told Newstalk that there were some “simple things” the public could be allowed to do outdoors, especially in counties with low case numbers.
Highlighting the value of getting vaccinated would be an advantage in swaying those who were uncertain, he added. “If you can see that people who are vaccinated are moving more freely that will be an incentive.”
Obviously there would have to be risk assessment, he added.
Prof Fanning also pointed out that people who had Covid, recovered and then received “one shot” of the vaccine had very high levels of immunity. People who had tested positive for Covid were not always listed, he said, which was a disadvantage as people who had overcome the virus (whether they experienced symptoms or not) had high levels of immunity.
Outdoor activities should be considered he said as people needed to have a dividend for the efforts they had made. Children in particular needed it, he said.
“We’re in for a rocky ride if we don’t have a dividend.”
Prof Fanning was particularly concerned about mental health issues if people did not receive a reprieve. Activities such as tennis and golf and movement within one’s own county should all be considered, he said.
The latest figures released by the HSE show a total of 786,569 doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in the Republic as of March 26th.Of these, 567,023 were first doses and 219,546 were second doses.