Government fails to secure extra Covid-19 vaccines from EU and UK

ireland
Government Fails To Secure Extra Covid-19 Vaccines From Eu And Uk
Someone receives a vaccine, © PA Wire/PA Images
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Digital Desk Staff

The Government has made unsuccessful attempts to source extra Covid-19 vaccines from other countries in the European Union and the UK, however a spokesman said there are no plans to look for extra vaccines outside the EU.

The Irish Times reports that the Government also attempted to convince pharma companies Pfizer and Merck to manufacture vaccines in Ireland to boost supply.

However, the offer to assist in the costs of reconfiguring plants in Cork and Carlow to produce vaccines was unsuccessful.

“Ireland is trying everything it can,” said a Coalition spokesman. “There have been discussions with pharmaceutical firms, there’s been discussions with other countries. For instance, we were looking at the redistribution of unused vaccines within the EU. But they don’t exist because every member state needs their supplies . . . People have asked the UK. The British prime minister made it clear that they need all their supplies.”

Turned down

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Sources told The Irish Times that the French and German governments were contacted over potentially sharing their unused vaccines, however these requests were turned down.

The Taoiseach also spoke to Boris Johnson, however, there are no plans go outside the EU distribution framework.

Political sources said there was a sense of anxiety in the Government about the issues with vaccine supply under the EU programme.

While Ireland is using available vaccines quicker than other EU countries, suppliers have repeatedly failed to deliver the quantities of the vaccine that were previously agreed.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said supply issues mean the 1.2 million target for the end of March has now been revised to 1.1 million.

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