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Experts warn that news of vaccine scandals could lead to further neglect of COVID-19 restrictions

DUBLIN: Experts warn that news of vaccine scandals could lead to greater ignoring of COVID-19 restrictions. The warning from the behavioral specialist comes in the wake of high-profile vaccine scandals at two Dublin hospitals.

Professor Pete Lunn, head of behavioural research at the ESRI and member of a Nphet sub-group which advises the Government on behaviour, was speaking in the aftermath of media reports of vaccine controversies at Beacon Hospitals in Coombe, Dublin. It was found that some hospital staff had joined in to give the vaccine to relatives and loved ones.

Prof. Pete Lunn said the incidents of scandal can cause people to ignore restrictions.

In addition to the restrictions being violated, there have been mass public gatherings in parts of Cork and Dublin in recent days.

Prof Lunn said: “We can see there was a knock-on effect from Golfgate. There was a knock to people’s perceptions of how much other people were complying with the restrictions. That took a definite dip for a few weeks after Golfgate; it lasted for three weeks or so in the data.”

Data shows that people adhere to restrictions when they think everyone else is doing so. “The important thing is that when people perceive unfairness, it does make them less willing to make the necessary sacrifices,” he said.

Officials warn people not to gather during Easter holiday weekend

Public health officials warn people not to gather over the Easter bank holiday weekend. A good weather forecast and the announcement of easing of restrictions could lead to large outdoor gatherings, they reminded.

Meanwhile, Dr. Glynn and Northern Ireland’s CMO, Dr. Michael McBride, have issued a joint warning that the virus is extremely dangerous and very transmissible. They both urged people around the country to celebrate Easter safely this year.

Cork Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh has urged people to avoid large gatherings.

Gardaí warns of patrols in public amenities, parks and beauty spots in the coming days. There will be checkpoints across the country’s road network.

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