'Biggest day yet' as 41,500 vaccines administered yesterday

ireland
'Biggest Day Yet' As 41,500 Vaccines Administered Yesterday
Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed yesterday was the 'biggest day yet' in the vaccine rollout.
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James Cox

The Taoiseach says yesterday was the biggest day yet in the Covid vaccine rollout — with over 41,000 given out.

A quarter of adults have now had their first dose, and one in ten have received both jabs.

Micheál Martin wrote: “Biggest day yet in the #CovidVaccine rollout yesterday with 41,500 doses given out. 25% of eligible adults now have their first dose — 948,000. And 10% are now fully vaccinated with two doses — 381,000.

“The vaccines, vaccinators, and volunteers are making a real difference”

It comes as 165,000 AstraZeneca doses are due to arrive here next week, in a delivery that had been postponed until May.

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AstraZeneca now expects to hit its European delivery target of 20 million doses this month, followed by 70 million in the second quarter.

Ireland will receive a pro rata share of about one per cent.

The Health Service Executive said it was “more hopeful than we were” of supplies arriving next week, the HSE has been very critical of changes to the delivery schedule of AstraZeneca vaccines.

The National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) is currently considering whether to broaden the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in the population.

Meanwhile, officials will decide in the coming days how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should be used after concerns about very rare blood clots.

Johnson & Johnson vaccine

Government had hoped to receive the all clear for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine before the weekend but the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (Niac) said there would be no decision until early next week.

HSE chief Paul Reid said the vaccines would start to be rolled out next week if they are given approval.

He added that 40,000 doses of the single-dose jab would be available next week.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine would “really advance the [vaccination] programme”.

Government sources told The Irish Times that there are fears that a negative decision on this vaccine would hit public confidence in the vaccination programme and support for Covid guidelines.

“We can’t tell people to continue with social distancing without saying there’s a chance of being vaccinated,” said a Government source. “If we’ve 40,000 [Johnson & Johnson doses] in the fridge, how can you ethically or morally justify not giving them out?”

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