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COVID-19 vaccine supply: Special priority is being given to elderly and health workers in Ireland

DUBLIN: Government decided to distribute COVID-19 vaccine with special priority to the elderly and health workers. People over the age of 65 who are in long-term care, frontline healthcare workers and people over 70 will be the first in Ireland to get the COVID-19 vaccine once it is approved. The government also decided to provide free vaccines to everyone in Ireland.

The vaccine distribution plan, which has been approved by the cabinet, was announced by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly. The vaccine distribution plan is based on the report of the Department of Health and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee.

Priority will be given to frontline health care workers who are in direct contact with patients, people aged 18-64 with medical conditions or in care and those living in busy conditions. Tánaiste Leo Varadkar told the Dáil last week that people working in high-risk environments, such as meat plants, could also be included.

A high-level task force overseeing the distribution of the vaccine will release its report on Friday. The government wants the public distribution system to be based on evidence and ensure transparency. The Minister of Health has confirmed that the rate of COVID infection has reached its lowest level in Ireland.

“COVID-19 is still a deadly disease. Through so much hard work and sacrifice, we now have the lowest 14-day incidence rate of COVID-19 in the EU. We are in a good position, and we want to keep it like that. Please remember that every single contact counts,” Minister said. The latest figures show that the number of COVID-19 cases in hospitals has dropped to 215.

Meanwhile, the distribution of a Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine began in Northern Ireland. A 90-year-old grandmother in Coventry, England, was the first person to receive the world’s first COVID-19 vaccine.

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