Stephen Donnelly: "Every citizen" to be offered Covid-19 vaccine by September
Ireland is on course to meet its initial vaccination target of 140,000 healthcare staff and long-term care home residents by Sunday.
Every citizen in Ireland will be offered a Covid-19 vaccine by September, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said.
Speaking in the Dáil on Thursday, Donnelly set out a more optimistic timeline to have Ireland inoculated, as long as all expected vaccines receive approval by the European Medicines Agency.
The EMA is due to make a decision on the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine on 29 January.
At a Dáil sitting in the Convention Centre, the health minister said Ireland is due to receive 600,000 doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in the first quarter of 2021.
This vaccine is hugely important as it does not require the ultra-cold temperatures of the two Moderna and BioNTech vaccines.
The first doses of the Moderna shot arrived in the country last week, following its approval by the EMA and European Commission on 6 January.
Ireland is currently receiving in the region of 40,000 doses a week of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Donnelly said the government is on track to reach the vaccination target of 140,000 healthcare staff and long-term care home residents by Sunday.
Previously, Donnelly had indicated that up to four million people could be vaccinated against Covid-19 by the end of September.
However, he warned at the time it was an evolving situation and timelines and projections are constantly changing.