The HSE is 'hugely frustrated' with AstraZeneca over vaccine delivery issues, CEO Paul Reid says.
He says it looks like the HSE is missing its vaccine targets, but that's a result of AstraZeneca is letting them down.
Data released this week showed that the HSE missed its 100,000 vaccine dose target last week.
Meanwhile, some GPs have expressed frustration that they're not getting vaccine deliveries as planned.
Mr Reid acknowledged on Newstalk Breakfast that they've run up against 'two major issues' over the last few weeks.
He said: "One [problem] is the delivery issues from AstraZeneca, which is causing us huge frustration and angst.
“They are committing they’ll meet their quarterly deliveries… but what we’ve seen in the last week, this week and into next week are two significant deliveries being committed and [not fully met].
“There’s very late notice of it, and they’re saying they’ll make it up over the next couple of weeks.
"It’s huge frustration for us - I know it’s projected as we’re missing our targets. The reality is AstraZeneca is missing their commitments to us."
GP vaccination programme
Mr Reid said he 'fully acknowledges and accepts' there has also been a problem with vaccines getting to some GPs.
GPs are currently leading the effort to vaccinate over-70s, ahead of more mass vaccination centres coming into operation across the country.
Mr Reid said: “If you take the GP vaccination programme that’s ongoing… the first two weeks, 95% were completed, well on target.
"This week we have encountered significant issues, and it has frustrated GPs and particularly frustrated some of the 85s whose [appointments] were either cancelled or delayed."
He said vaccinations at around 65 smaller GP practices are being rescheduled into next week.
He said the issues have been mostly been in those smaller practices, and are related to the 'more complex' logistics involved in delivering and administering the Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines.
Those two vaccines are being used to vaccinate older people, and Mr Reid said they're on track to vaccinate the 'vast majority' of over-85s by the end of this week.
The vaccination of most healthcare workers will also be completed by the end of next week.
Currently, the HSE is expecting to receive a total of 1.2 million vaccine doses by the end of this month.
Mr Reid said some of that is expected on the last day of the month, so won't be administered until early April.
He said he's “cautious” about committing to delivery schedules, as there have been delivery issues with all three approved vaccine suppliers so far.
However, he added: “Whatever we get, we will administer."