A Fianna Fáil TD has slammed Ireland's approach to rolling out coronavirus vaccines.
Marc MacSharry said 40,000 doses of the Covid vaccine have been received by the State, but only 1,800 were administered by Friday night.
The Sligo-Leitrim TD said in a statement: “It’s a real emergency, yet one week on we had used less than 5% of doses provided to us? Seriously?
“It seems clear that in a European and national context we have strangled ourselves with process, procedure and bureaucracy. It’s pedestrian.”
He pointed out that the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine was created in Germany and manufactured in Belgium, but countries such as Israel and Bahrain are administering it to their citizens at a much faster pace than EU nations.
He added: “As friends and family members across the border in Fermanagh, Tyrone and Antrim are already being vaccinated, Israel leads the global charge with an ambitious and aggressive roll out, we in Ireland and the EU generally are among the others in helping to bring up the rear. This is simply not good enough.”
Mr MacSharry's comments came as the Minister for Health said all nursing home residents and staff should have received the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine by the end of the month.
Stephen Donnelly said the country is due to receive 40,000 vaccines a week from Pfizer in January and February and that vaccination numbers will be added to the existing data hub which shows daily Covid-19 figures.
The Minister said on Twitter on Saturday that the first vaccines administered this week marked “a hugely important milestone”.
“We started with healthcare workers in our hospitals and are now moving into nursing homes,” he said.
“By the end of January, we plan to have vaccinated residents and all those working in our 580 nursing homes (70,000) with the first dose.”
The HSE has set a target of February 28th for all nursing home residents to have received both doses, although it has warned potential Covid-19 outbreaks in facilities may interrupt progress.