Tánaiste Leo Varadkar says people who refuse AstraZeneca jab will go to back of queue
He said they will 'have to wait until the end' if they refuse the jab.
Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has said that people who refuse an offer of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine will go to the back of the queue in Ireland's vaccination programme.
He told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that those who refuse the vaccine “will have to wait until the end" of the rollout to receive their jab.
Varadkar also said that EU travel may be possible over the summer for people who have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
"Vaccines will never be 100% effective, the world is full of viruses that can mutate," he said.
"Travel in the future will be different, I'm absolutely sure of that, but one of the things that we are examining that we hope to come to a decision on very soon is whether we can exempt people who have been fully vaccinated.
"The CDC in America and Doctor Fauci agree that people who are fully vaccinated should be exempt, you will get counter-arguments, people will say vaccines aren't 100% effective, that's true. People will say the virus can mutate, or say we don't have an international certification, and people can fake documents, those things will always be true, so if those are your arguments there is no exit strategy.
"I think the exit strategy is based on vaccination and the European Union is developing a green cert, and we could see within months people being able to travel freely within the European Union if they've been fully vaccinated, but we have to embrace the science."
During the interview, the Tánaiste also confirmed that non-essential retail and personal services such as hair salons will reopen next month.
"So what we will do in two weeks' time, so the end of April, we will look at the plan for May," he said.
"What we're planning is allowing more outdoor activities, a phase three reopening of retail, and of personal services.
"Yes, I’m not saying the 4th of May, that’s unlikely, but over the course of the month of May there'll be a phased reopening of personal services including hairdressers and barbers,” he added.