Presidents of the Higher Education Institutions (HEI) represented by the Irish University Association (IUA), the Technological Association of Ireland (THEA) and the Higher Education College Association (HECA) have issued a joint statement, urging college students to get vaccinated before the new year begins.
Latest data has shown that 82% of people in that cohort have applied for a vaccine. 78% have received their first dosage, whilst 57% are now fully vaccinated.
The statement comes following the NPHET briefing this week, in which it was shown that the Covid pandemic in Ireland was mainly one of young unvaccinated adults, with a high incidence rate in the 16-29 age cohort.
College presidents are now calling on all students who have not registered to do so.
Patricia O Sullivan, Executive Director of HECA, said: “We strongly encourage students to take up offers of the COVID-19 vaccine before the return to on-campus.”
Ciarán Ó hÓgartaigh, Chair of the IUA and President of National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway has said; “It is gratifying to see the enthusiastic take-up of vaccines by university students for the public good.
“Their positive action to protect themselves, their families and fellow students is a key ingredient for the safe reopening of third-level institutions” he continued.
“We encourage all remaining students to register now for the vaccine.”
There has been a recognition of student effort in the registration and taking of vaccines. Jim Milley, Director General of the Irish Universities Association, has commended student uptake and encouraged as many students as possible to get vaccinated before the start of term.
Vincent Cunnane, Chair of THEA and President of LIT said; “The desire to realise a safe and more engaged academic year is one shared by staff and students.”
He continued, commending the number of students who have registered.
“We strongly encourage all students and intending students to avail of the vaccine.”