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Ireland will receive six million vaccine doses from EU by mid-July

DUBLIN: By mid-July, Ireland will receive six million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine from the European Union. The announcement was made by European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is also the EU’s internal market chief. The commissioner said that this would enable 70% of the adult population in Ireland and the European Union to be vaccinated. Bretton made the revelation yesterday in the Oireachtas joint EU affairs committee meeting.

“We will be able to deliver probably enough vaccines so that by mid-July, you will receive enough doses to be able to vaccinate 70pc, at least, of the adult population, which is, of course, extremely important,” Mr. Breton said. Britain is also expected to achieve a similar target by the end of July.

From January to March, the EU had delivered 1.3 million vaccine doses to Ireland. By mid-July, it will be between 5.5 million and 6 million, the commissioner said. This figure includes one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. No decision has been made on whether to administer the J&J vaccine following reports of blood clots. A decision on this may be made today by the European Medicines Agency (EMA).

The commissioner noted that vaccine production in the European Union is doubling every month. He added that by the end of the year, more doses will be produced here than in the US. “This is why we are confident that of course we will be able to deliver enough doses,” he said.

Bretton said the EU would have been number one in the world in terms of vaccination rates if the doses promised by British-Swedish drugmaker AstraZeneca had been delivered on time. Bretton said the European Commission’s legal services are currently investigating AstraZeneca’s breach of contract.

Out of the 120 million doses planned for the first quarter of this year, only 30 million doses were delivered by AstraZeneca. Mr. Breton confirmed that the company would deliver 70 million doses to the EU by July, out of a total of 180 million doses.

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