HSE issues warning as young people "intentionally" contracting Covid-19 for vaccine passports
“The currently circulating Delta variant has higher morbidity and mortality rates, also for the young."
The Health Service Executive (HSE) has issued a warning as it says young people are "intentionally" contracting Covid-19 in order to obtain vaccine passports.
HSE Public Health Midlands said in a statement on Tuesday that the practice is "extremely risky and dangerous" after a HSE Doctor said that parents were concerned that their children had been going to gatherings with the "intention of getting Covid".
“It also has come to our attention that recently a number of teenagers and young adults may have acquired Covid-19 intentionally at social events," Douglas Hamilton, Specialist in Public Health Medicine at the Department of Public Health in the Midlands said on Tuesday.
"The objective may have been to acquire Covid-19 in order to quickly qualify for a Covid Digital Certificate.
“The currently circulating Delta variant has higher morbidity and mortality rates, also for the young," the statement continued.
“With this comes higher rates of ‘long Covid’, potentially resulting in lifelong cardiac, respiratory, cerebral or renal disease."
The HSE added that the gatherings may also lead to a jump in transmissions for elderly and vulnerable groups.
“It also carries a high risk of onward spread to elderly and other vulnerable people, who may not have mounted as good an immune response to vaccination as younger and fully fit people, putting them at risk of serious disease," it added.
The EU Digital Covid Certificate was rolled out in Ireland for use in international travel on 19 July and for indoor dining on 26 July for fully vaccinated people, those who have recently recovered from the virus, and accompanying under 18s.
Hamilton told Midlands 103 on Tuesday that "a number" of young adults may have "acquired Covid-19 intentionally" to obtain the Covid passport after multiple concerned parents got in touch with the HSE.
“They say there may have been parties or gatherings where their children, in the age group of 16 to 25, may have gone with the intention of getting Covid and then getting the Covid cert to give them the chance to travel,” he said.
“We, therefore, advise that young people register as soon as possible to get vaccinated."