EU export ban on vaccines would be counterproductive, says Taoiseach

ireland
Eu Export Ban On Vaccines Would Be Counterproductive, Says Taoiseach
Taoiseach Micheal Martin, © PA Media
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Vivienne Clarke

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned that an EU export ban on vaccines would be counterproductive and a retrograde step.

It was vital that supply chains for ingredients for vaccines remained open. “If we start blocking supply, we are in trouble,” he told RTÉ radio’s News at One.

Pharma companies were very worried about the possibility of bans as they operate through a global integrated supply chain, he explained.

Mr Martin also advised the public to ignore media speculation about the easing of restrictions on April 5th. He said he will be having meetings with his Government partners and with deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn and following that the approach will be decided.

There were a number of factors that would have to be considered, including the progress of the vaccination programme, which would open up decisions for Ireland as a society, he added.

Playing catch-up

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It was hoped that the HSE would catch-up this week on vaccinating the 30,000 in the vulnerable Cohort Four who had to be deferred last week when AstraZeneca was paused. Everything was being done to speed up the process as safely as possible, the Taoiseach said.

“People have been extremely good,” he added, saying the restrictions to date were having a significant impact.

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The most significant factor in increased numbers was people congregating, which had to be stopped. All indoor meetings and events such as house parties needed to be avoided, he urged.

Mr Martin warned the new B117 variant was so infectious, it was effectively “a new type of virus”, so people needed to stay vigilant to keep numbers low.

The vast majority of people were adhering to restrictions, but the public health evidence was that community transmission was leading to the rise in cases, he said.

“Your efforts here have borne fruit. It’s important to keep with this,” he added.

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