US President Joe Biden has told Taoiseach Micheál Martin that the United States is in the same position as most countries when it comes to gathering enough Covid-19 vaccines for its population.
Speaking after his St Patrick's Day meeting with the president, Mr Martin said that the US does not necessarily have a stockpile of vaccines to give to other countries.
“President Biden’s main focus is getting his own people vaccinated,” said Mr Martin.
When he was asked about vaccine supply, and whether he had asked Mr Biden if US manufactures could supply to Ireland, Mr Martin said that the president told him the US is facing the same logistical issues as Europe.
“He is keen to have a higher volume of manufacture. That is his key focus right now,” said Mr Martin.
“He wants the US to have enough [supply] to vaccinate their own people. He will know later on where US stands.”
Mr Martin said Irish authorities would begin rescheduling vaccine appointments that were due to go ahead with the AstraZeneca vaccine quickly if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) confirms its safety on Tuesday.
“It will take some time. People have to be notified We will be doing everything we possible can to accelerate the vaccination programme, particularly for people who had it postponed,” he said.
“It is within our capacity to catch up. I was heartened by Pfizer announcing it would make 110,000 additional doses available."