Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Fifty million additional doses of the Pfizer Covid vaccine have been secured by the European Union this quarter, with 545,000 set to be delivered to the Republic.

It comes as the European Commission President revealed 100 million Covid vaccinations have been administered across the EU to date.

Ursula von der Leyen said the deliveries will take the total EU supply of Pfizer vaccines to 250 million for the second quarter of the year.

The additional Pfizer doses will assist the Irish rollout after issues surrounding the AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines came to light.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin tweeted: “Welcome news that Ireland will be receiving close to 545,000 extra BioNTech-Pfizer vaccines, starting this month.”

The Government is currently looking to address issues with both the vaccine rollout and mandatory quarantine.

The mandatory hotel quarantine booking system has been temporarily suspended and that, along with the vaccine issues, were discussed at a Cabinet meeting this morning.

The Government accepted advice to suspend the AstraZeneca vaccine for those under 60 on Monday following advice from the National Immunisation Advisory Council (Niac).

On Tuesday, the Johnson & Johnson suspension in the United States was revealed, with the European rollout subsequently stalled.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the two setbacks had presented health authorities with a “logistical headache”.

Mr Donnelly told RTÉ One: “There’s no question that if it follows through that there are restrictions (on Johnson & Johnson), there’s no question that would require serious re-profiling of the programme.”

Asked if restrictions on the product would delay the vaccine programme, and consequently the reopening of society, Mr Donnelly replied: “There’s no question if we had to fully pull the Janssen or the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there’s no question, you can’t vaccinate as many people with less vaccines.”

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