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Shortage of COVID-19 vaccine is becoming a problem in Ireland

DUBLIN: The shortage of COVID-19 vaccine in Ireland has raised the issue of the need to arrange vaccines on its own without having to wait for a share of the vaccine from the European Union. A few TDs have raised this demand with the Health Minister.

Government sources also take seriously the fact that Ireland has not yet been able to vaccinate even 10% of the population.

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has asked the vaccine high-level task force to examine whether Ireland can purchase additional vaccines in parallel with the EU supply deal.

Several TDs have pointed out that other countries in the European Union, including Germany, have separate deals. Subsequently, Minister Donnelly asked the task force to look into other legitimate avenues.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin has confirmed that all countries are facing vaccine shortages, making it less likely that they will get unused COVID-19 vaccines. The Taoiseach said that Germany has made it clear that it will use all its vaccines.

“Most countries are focused on getting their own vaccinations programmes done. The issue is really around the manufacturing and the production.” Therefore, he indicated that such a solution is not possible. Mr Martin said he was optimistic that the vaccine would be available in the coming months.

He explained that all inmates, staff and frontline health care workers in nursing homes have been vaccinated. In the coming days, everyone over the age of 85 will receive their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. “Infection rates are coming down significantly in hospitals and nursing homes,” the Taoiseach said.

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