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Fewer than a million vaccine doses will be delivered in April, but will be caught up on in May and June, says Tánaiste

  10 mins ago


Leo Varadkar wearing a suit and tie: May and June will see vaccine deliveries rise above one million per month says Varadkar.© Oireachtas.ie 

May and June will see vaccine deliveries rise above one million per month says Varadkar.

A delivery of 112,000 vaccines arrived into the country last night, according to Tánaiste Leo Varadkar. 

Speaking in the Dáil today he said this delivery means the target of receiving 1.187 million doses of the vaccine into the country in the first quarter of this year has been reached. 

More than 800,000 vaccines have been administered, said Varadkar. The government hopes to hit the one million doses administered by 7 April, he said.

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Supplies of the vaccine are firming up, he said, but acknowledged that the country will get less than the promised one million in April. Leo Varadkar the Taoiseach, prime minister and head of government of Ireland at the Special European Council arrives at Forum Europa building and has a doorstep press and media briefing during the second day of a special European Council, EURO summit, EU leaders in Brussels, Belgium about the future panning of the next long term budget of the European Union EU at the post Brexit era. February 21, 2020 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)© Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images Leo Varadkar the Taoiseach, prime minister and head of government of Ireland at the Special European Council arrives at Forum Europa building and has a doorstep press and media briefing during the second day of a special European Council, EURO summit, EU leaders in Brussels, Belgium about the future panning of the next long term budget of the European Union EU at the post Brexit era. February 21, 2020 (Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Last week, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly told the Dail that 1.1 million doses were scheduled to be delivered over the next four weeks.

Earlier in the Dáil, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said April’s vaccine doses would be revised down. Last night, he told his parliamentary party that 860,000 would be delivered in April.

“I would like to get about a million a month through April, May and June, but it will be less than a million in April, more than a million in May and June,” Varadkar said.Boxes with Astra Zeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are pictured in a fridge at St. Mary's Hospital, in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, February 14, 2021.  REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne© REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne Boxes with Astra Zeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine are pictured in a fridge at St. Mary’s Hospital, in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“We do expect to have most adults vaccinated by the end of May and the vast majority of adults offered their first dose no later than the end of June,” he added.

Varadkar said the good news is the data that is emerging now shows that the vaccines work on the different variants. Citing the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) Varadkar said it also appears from recent data that the vaccines prevent transmission, which he said “is really encouraging”.

Varadkar again defended the overhaul of the vaccine plan this week, stating that the decision was made on public health advice from doctors and scientists from the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.Ireland's Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar arrives for the second day of the European Union leaders summit, held to discuss the EU's long-term budget for 2021-2027, in Brussels, Belgium, February 21, 2020. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS© Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS Ireland’s Prime Minister (Taoiseach) Leo Varadkar arrives for the second day of the European Union leaders summit, held to discuss the EU’s long-term budget for 2021-2027, in Brussels, Belgium, February 21, 2020. Ludovic Marin/Pool via REUTERS

He said the Opposition was constantly calling on the government to listen to the experts, stating during Leaders’ Questions today that this is what the government is doing in this case.

After the most vulnerable and people over 70 have been inoculated, the rollout will be based on age groups, and not occupations as previously planned.

“It’s made for very good reasons, and a very good reason is that people in their 50s and 60s are at much higher risk of getting severely ill or dying from Covid than people in their 20s and 30s,”  Varadkar said.Chief Ambulance Officer Richard Quinlan opens a fridge containing Astra Zeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in the storage area at St. Mary's Hospital in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, February 14, 2021.  REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne© REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne Chief Ambulance Officer Richard Quinlan opens a fridge containing Astra Zeneca coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine in the storage area at St. Mary’s Hospital in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

“As someone in their 30s has 0.2% chance of dying from Covid, somebody in their 50s is 1.3%, six times higher.

“For somebody in their 40s is 0.4%, for somebody in their 60s is 3.6% – nine times higher.

“There is no group, no profession, other than healthcare workers, that is at higher risk of getting severely ill from Covid or dying from Covid, than the average person in their 60s and that’s why it makes sense to prioritise people in their 60s and 50s.An illustrative image of a medical syringe in front of an image of a vial containing Pfizer-BionTech vaccine displayed on screens. On Monday, December 28, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)© Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images An illustrative image of a medical syringe in front of an image of a vial containing Pfizer-BionTech vaccine displayed on screens. On Monday, December 28, 2020, in Dublin, Ireland. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

“One thing that is very advantageous, I think, about moving towards an age-based system is that it is simple. All you need is proof of date of birth.”

Anyone who may have been in contact with a person who has COVID-19, is advised to contact HSE Live via 1850 24 1850 or on the HSE website here

If you are unwell with a cough, especially with respiratory symptoms (e.g. cough, high temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, fever) you should isolate yourself immediately and phone your GP

If you have a COVID-19 related travel query, you can call the dedicated advice centre on (01)613 1733.

Follow the government’s latest travel advice here

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