Government planning to offer COVID-19 vaccine to everyone by September - Donnelly


Newstalk
Newstalk

11.14 21 Jan 2021


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The Health Minister said the plan is for everyone to be offered a COVID-19 vaccine by September.

Stephen Donnelly told the Dáil Ireland is due to get 600,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the first quarter of the year.

EU leaders will meet by video conference later to discuss a target of vaccinating 70% of people by the summer.

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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says they're looking to get access to more doses of vaccine as soon as possible.

He told the Dáil: "We're planning our programme based on a supply of vaccine that would mean every citizen could be vaccinated by September.

"The timelines are indicative - but they will hopefully provide reassurance and clarity to people."

He added it will not just be citizens, but all residents of the country.

The minister also said family carers will not be vaccinated alongside other healthcare workers in the next phase of vaccinations.

Minister Donnelly also told the Dáil they're going to reduce the 'buffer' of vaccines to very low levels in order to hit the 140,000 vaccination target by Sunday.

This is due to an under-delivery this week from Pfizer, which will be rectified next week.

Around 40,000 doses a week are arriving from Pfizer, while lower amounts from Moderna are arriving every two weeks.

The Taoiseach yesterday said it will likely be mid-February before the AstraZeneca vaccine supplies arrive in Ireland, if - as expected - it's approved by the EMA next week.

Reporting by Sean Defoe. Additional reporting by Stephen McNeice
Main image: File photo of Nithya Rajendran , one of the first healthcare workers to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Pic: Marc O'Sullivan / RollingNews.ie

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