Government 'disappointed' with vaccine issues as latest target expected to be missed

ireland
Government 'Disappointed' With Vaccine Issues As Latest Target Expected To Be Missed
Taoiseach Micheál Martin (Julien Behal Photography/PA), © PA Media
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Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the Government is "obviously disappointed" with some of the issues with the Covid-19 vaccine rollout so far, while the HSE confirmed the vaccine targets for March are set to be missed.

It had been expected that 1.24 million doses would be received by the end of the month, however it is now predicted that only 1.1 million doses will arrive in the coming weeks.

According to the latest figures, almost 150,000 people have been fully vaccinated in the country to date.

Speaking this morning, Mr Martin said: “We are disappointed in terms of some of the issues, but in terms of protecting the most vulnerable we've made very good progress on that.

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“The impact of the vaccine is very positive, and we have seen that in terms of frontline healthcare workers in hospitals and nursing homes in particular and now out in the community.”

The HSE's announcement today represents the second time Ireland’s vaccine target has been revised downwards in the last few weeks.

However, speaking to the Oireachtas Health Committee today, HSE chief executive Paul Reid said they are hopeful things will improve significantly in the coming months.

He said up to 3.8 million doses are due to arrive before the end of June.

Thankfully, all major indicators of the disease are now trending downwards.

Mr Reid also defended the country's rollout strategy saying Ireland is in the top five countries in Europe in terms of the number of people vaccinated, adding the HSE plans to resume normal services soon, according to the Irish Examiner.

“Thankfully, all major indicators of the disease are now trending downwards, although we remain alert to the impact of new variants of Covid-19,” he said.

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“Our ongoing planning and roll-out includes operating models for GPs, pharmacies and vaccination centres, alongside the corresponding ICT, infrastructure and recruitment mobilisation.

“Thirty-seven HSE vaccination centres are agreed and the required infrastructure is being finalised, with self-referral processes planned,” he added.

Despite criticism from GPs last week that some surgeries were yet to receive their first delivery of vaccines, Mr Reid said most GPs have now received doses.

“While we know it has been extremely difficult for everyone we are asking the public to stick with us over the coming weeks and continue to follow the public health guidance to help suppress the spread of the virus,” he told the committee.

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