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People of Ireland banded together to help poor countries in vaccination; Ireland donated more than 1.25 million doses

DUBLIN: As the world moves on with the vaccination programme to battle COVID-19 pandemic, the people of Ireland are reaching out to the poorest countries who cannot afford to buy their own vaccines. Ireland announced its presence at a vaccine donation campaign hosted by UNICEF.

UNICEF, a United Nations agency, said that Ireland has donated more than 1,250,000 COVID19 vaccines to some of the world’s poorest countries. Companies and individuals in Ireland raised more than €2.5 million just weeks after the campaign ‘Get a Vaccine, Give a Vaccine’ was officially launched.

The initiative encourages those getting vaccinated in Ireland to donate a vaccine to someone in need. One million doses of COVID-19 vaccine will now be distributed to healthcare workers and vulnerable people in countries with limited access to vaccines.

UNICEF aims to deliver 2 billion COVID-19 vaccines this year. The donation of more than 1 million vaccines from Ireland will help the organisation in achieving its goal.

UNICEF Ireland Executive Director Peter Power said he appreciates the people of Ireland who participated in the mission. “I’m very pleased to say that through the generosity of the Irish people, that number has just gone up in the last number of days from 1m to about 1.25m,” he said.

“When people get their vaccine in their arm, the feedback we’re getting certainly is they feel a real sense of euphoria. We all know that nobody is safe until everyone is safe, and that no child is safe, until everyone they rely on is safe,” Mr Power said.

“There is a huge appetite amongst Irish people to share vaccines with the countries around the world which just don’t have any access,” he added.

If rich countries are expected to have vaccinated 50 out of 100 people, poor countries are estimated to have vaccinated just 1.5 out of 100 of their citizens. “What UNICEF is saying very clearly is that we can do both. We can roll out our programme, but we can also share approximately 20% of our vaccines to these countries,” Mr Power said.

 “This is the most critical mission in the world right now, and we simply could not do this without the incredible generosity of people and companies in Ireland. Donations to the campaign help ensure that vaccines get to the most remote and isolated places in the world. Every donation helps us store vaccines safely using secure cold chain equipment,” he added.

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