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Concern over people ‘dropping their guard’ following vaccination

Concern has been raised about individuals who have received Covid-19 vaccinations ‘dropping their guard’ and failing to continue to practice virus prevention measures. 

Dublin GP Dr Ray Walley told the Medical Independent (MI) that he has encountered patients in the Covid-19 community assessment hub in North Dublin who had contracted the virus after being vaccinated. 

As an example, he said one patient after receiving their first vaccine dose developed a false sense of security, failed to adhere to social distancing guidelines and contracted the virus. 

“Some people are developing a false sense of security in their head that you can go out and party and go to pubs once you have the vaccine. There needs to be an education programme highlighting that vaccines are part of the solution but are not the whole solution,” said Dr Walley. 

“I’ve met two people in the hub who had been vaccinated and then dropped their guard and they got Covid. They took off their mask at the wrong time and the wrong place. They told me they realised they had done the wrong thing.

“Whenever we talk about the vaccine we have to keep on emphasising that on the first and second dose, that this is only part of the solution. We will have new variants and like influenza we will probably end up having boosters and if you want to not get this, you have to continue to wear a mask and socially distance.”

Members of the public, because virus case numbers are falling, falsely believe that “we are out of the woods”, he argued. 

“There is a continued prevalence out there. We are still at levels that were looked upon as high before but are now looked upon as lower compared to where we were at the start of the year. The danger with that, is the language then consists of ‘we are improving’ and people interpret that as ‘oh we’re out of the woods’, we are not out of the woods.”

He said virus test referrals in North Dublin “remain steady” and that the area remains one of the “blackspots” nationally for virus cases. 

In recent days he has made a number of “re-referrals” for Covid-19 tests, meaning that patients who were confirmed as positive Covid-19 cases “eight or nine months ago” are now symptomatic again and are being referred for tests. 

A mixture of age groups have been affected, he said, adding that, “You’re starting to see the cycle beginning again”. 

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