As a young person in full time education or just entering the workforce, you probably feel huge pressure to take this vaccine? Many cite taking this medical intervention ‘just to get life back to normal’.

It must have been a very difficult one and a half years without normally mixing with your friends, socialising and having fun. You have missed out on playing sports and going to the gym. You missed out on a normal second and third level education. Indeed, you have told Bring Back Normal how you have missed the adventure of travel. 

Having willingly made these sacrifices, you are now being ‘asked’ to take a medical treatment, not for yourself, but for the vulnerable who may be loved ones. You are also being told that you may not be able to go to a bar, go to the gym or travel without taking the vaccine.  We feel this is coercive, manipulative and totally unfair messaging from the politicians, NPHET and the media. As per RTE’s campaign, Truth Matters

Vaccine Passport

Firstly, you may still travel without the need for a Vaccine Passport – you simply need an Antigen/PCR test. For domestic use, it is true that you cannot now attend a bar indoors in Ireland under the current temporary laws [Health Act 2021] but this will be possible in the near future. 

Benefits & Risks

The risks from Covid-19 are there but they are extremely low for the under 25s. According to Oxford University’s Covid Risk Calculator (, an obese 24-year-old with asthma has a 1 in 500,000 chance of dying from Covid-19 – you are three times more likely to die from lightening than Covid-19! ( Additionally, the risk of admission to hospital is in the region of risk of dying of electrocution. 

What are the risks from the vaccines themselves? 

Obviously, being a new form of medical treatment approved for emergency use and one that is still under trial until 2023, statistics are in flux. All vaccines have side effects, but the risks have always been relatively low. That said, these risks do include serious and life changing conditions including Guillain-Barre syndrome, Thrombosis and Myocarditis. For instance, the Johnson & Johnson Janssen[1] side effects listed below cite a 1 in 10,000 risk of developing Guillain-Barre syndrome and Thrombosis, both of which can be life-threatening. We don’t wish to overstate the risks, nor do we wish to understate them. 

The products all have conditional marketing authorisation which means they do not have full authorisation yet.

Should you take these vaccines to protect the vulnerable including family members who are already vaccinated? Again, the webpage for Janssen clearly states that there is no data available on transmission reduction. 

In fact, the CDC has stated on July 29th, covered by CNN[2], that the transmission based on the viral load is the same in the vaccinated and unvaccinated. As suspected, there is no need to take a vaccine to protect others – you take the vaccine to protect yourself. 

One final aspect to cover is Natural Immunity. Bill Gates’ GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization) wrote nine months ago that that natural immunity may be long[3] lasting. 

Bring Back Normal recognise that vaccines are a tool to be used in fighting disease. That said, detailed consideration must be given to the benefits and the risks of this medical treatment, the safety signals of the vaccine.

In all cases though, the decision is for each individual and should be made without coercion and with informed consent.

[1] Patient Information Leaflet (PIL) for the Janssen vaccine dated 22nd July 2021.