First delivery of Covid vaccines arrives in Ireland

First Delivery Of Covid Vaccines Arrives In Ireland First Delivery Of Covid Vaccines Arrives In Ireland
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly next to a special low-temperature freezer holding the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines to arrive in the Republic of Ireland.
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James Cox

The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines has arrived in the Republic of Ireland, with vaccination set to begin on December 30th.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly tweeted: “When is a fridge worth photographing? When it’s just had Ireland’s first #Covid vaccines put in it.”

Frontline healthcare workers and nursing home residents will be the first people to receive the vaccine.

The Pfizer vaccine has to be kept at a temperature well below zero and it is being stored in special low-temperature freezers at the National Cold Chain Centre.


HSE director-general Paul Reid called it a 'momentous day,' as the Pfizer jab arrives in the country.

It comes after the Department of Health confirmed the new variant of Covid-19, first detected in the UK, is in Ireland.

1,025 new cases of the virus and two deaths were reported yesterday.


UK arrivals are being urged to self-isolate for 14 days while a testing system can be set up.

Meanwhile, Taoiseach Micheál Martin has warned that it will take at least six months for some normality to return to life as vaccine roll-out progresses.

Mr Martin said: “The first six months of 2021 we will see improvements, but we certainly not will see normality in the first six months.”

Vaccine approval

The European Union approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in December.

The European Medicines Agency issued a provisional marketing authorisation.

Nursing home residents are among the priority groups.

Mr Martin said that initial phase would make a “significant difference” and protect the most vulnerable.

He added: “Certainly manufacturing of the vaccine will be ramped up, certainly from March onwards.”

Mr Martin said May and June had been identified as “critical” months.

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