Micheál Martin says Ireland will ramp up vaccinations after losing weeks due to J&J delay 1 month ago

Micheál Martin says Ireland will ramp up vaccinations after losing weeks due to J&J delay

He said Ireland's vaccine rollout is still "broadly on track".

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said that Ireland will be ramping up its vaccination centres over the coming months.

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He said that Ireland's vaccination rollout programme is still "broadly on track" in spite of losing a number of weeks of progress due to recommendations on the usage of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Speaking at a press conference on Tuesday, Martin said that there has been "some reduction" in the shipment of Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses.

However, he is hopeful that Ireland will still be able to meet its vaccination target of having 80% of the adult population vaccinated by the end of summer.

"The bulk of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine was due in late May or June so the bulk of it is still to come, and there's been a reduction in the second shipment of that but it was low enough anyways, to begin with," he said.

"It's more that the key for the Johnson and Johnson is 600,000 over the Q2 (second quarter) period, there is well in excess of four million vaccines due in for the entirety of the Q2 period.

"We've lost some weeks as I've said, but we're broadly on target, so we will be doing everything we can to reach that."

The Taoiseach said it is now up to the Health Service Executive (HSE) to take the National Immunisation Advisory Committee's (NIAC) advice on board and work out the "logistics" for the ramped up rollout of the vaccine.

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"Obviously now the HSE has to operationalise its latest advice and see what impact it has on its capacity to deliver and that has been one of the big challenges for the HSE," he added.

"We said everything was dependant on supply, and delivery schedules, the delivery schedules have changed quite frequently along the way and then every NIAC decision means the HSE has to go back to the drawing board to work out its logistics in terms of the administration of the vaccine.

"But, you will see a full ramping up of the vaccination centres, the utilisation of those, along with the sterling work being undertaken by general practitioners."