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Government 'should have been prepared for COVID spike in younger people' - economist

An economist says the Government should have prepared itself for rising COVID case numbers, espec...
Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.07 7 Aug 2021


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Government 'should have been p...

Government 'should have been prepared for COVID spike in younger people' - economist

Jack Quann
Jack Quann

11.07 7 Aug 2021


Share this article


An economist says the Government should have prepared itself for rising COVID case numbers, especially among younger people.

Moore McDowell was speaking after 1,828 new cases were reported in Ireland on Saturday - the highest number of daily cases since January.

While the Government says the trajectory of the virus remains "very uncertain".

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Mr McDowell told Down to Business this is not the fault of younger people, but authorities.

"They have been the victims of this, in the sense that they didn't they the vaccine when other people got it.

"But also the young people, 18 to 24, do things it's part of their hormones, it's in the way they live.

"They want want to go out and meet: they want to have parties, they want to meet people, it's the mating game.

"A lot of the increased numbers... are young people, and where are they getting it? They're getting it from other young people."

And he says perhaps the Government should have proritised young people over older people for when restrictions were lifted.

"Maybe - with hindsight - instead of worrying as much as they did about a precious person as much as myself, they should have been saying 'We really must do something about the people whose bahaviour, once you get rid of restrictions, whose bahaviour must be expected to cause a big increase in infections'.

"It's so obvious in retrospect".

'A better strategy'

Mr McDowell says the approach of vaccinating older people and those in nursing homes "was fundamentally to do with the preserving the position of the HSE.

"In other words: that public sector hospitals could to be swamped by people.

"In effect at the time they clearly over-estimated the degree to which this was going to happen".

And he adds that the approach to older people could have been more 'hard-nosed'.

"In retrospect, a harder-nosed approach to that - telling older people like me 'If you get it sunshine, you're history' and then telling us 'And here's how you avoid getting it' was a better strategy than making sure I don't get sick by giving me the vaccine.

"I am of an age where I know that, statistically speaking, if I come down with COVID-19... the probability is that I'll die of it.

"So do you think I'm going to take chances?"

It comes as walk-in COVID-19 vaccination centres open across the country for more people to get vaccinated.

They are open to anyone who is set to receive their first dose of Pfizer who is aged 16 and over.

Those who already have an appointment booked can also use the walk-in facilities.

The head of the HSE, Paul Reid, said officials feel there is still more "potential" to vaccinate people through the centres, following a successful campaign during the bank holiday weekend.

"We do feel that there's still a further potential in walk-in facility process.

"Therefore we will be running these again this coming week - the three days over the weekend.

"We do feel that last weekend we will have captured probably most of this opportunity that there is there.

"But we once again open the facility to see if there are some further people that we can cover and capture through this process once again".

Government 'should have been prepared for COVID spike in younger people' - economist

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Main image: Moore McDowell, senior Lecturer of economics at UCD, at a Fine Gael-hosted public seminar in 2009. Picture by. Mark Stedman/RollingNews.ie

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Covid Spike Down To Business Economist Moore McDowell Vaccines Younger People

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