‘Vaccine bonus’ with greater freedom for those inoculated unlikely, Taoiseach indicates

ireland
The European Union had decided it will issue vaccination certs. Photo: PA Images.
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The Taoiseach has indicated that the Government is not in favour of the idea of a “vaccine bonus” in Ireland.

This would see those who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 enjoy loosened restrictions, with greater freedom to move around or mix with larger numbers socially.

The Irish Examiner reports that Micheál Martin said the European Union had decided it will issue vaccination certs, but these are not vaccination passports.

At the moment, they would not provide people with greater freedom, he said.

“Over time, whether it evolves into something greater than that remains to be seen,” Mr Martin added.

“The WHO wants it as a health passport, not as a passport to travel or anything, so that's a debate that's yet to be had.”

March targets

The Taoiseach admitted it will be “very challenging” to meet March’s vaccination target of distributing more than 1.1 million doses, due to ongoing supply issues.

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Speaking at a vaccination centre at Galway Racecourse, Mr Martin confirmed that the shortfalls were due to issues with deliveries of the AstraZeneca jab.

Just 84,000 people will be vaccinated next week.

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Mr Martin said all vaccination targets in the coming months remain "subject to supply", but expressed optimism over meeting inoculation targets.

“We are administering significant amounts of vaccine, even now notwithstanding the challenges we have with AstraZeneca in particular,” he said.

“AstraZeneca are saying that they will make up the shortfalls.”

Mr Martin also said the country’s 37 mass vaccination centres will be used to a "far greater extent" from April onwards.

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