• Sat. Oct 29th, 2022

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly refused to say whether the June projections for vaccination will change if restrictions are put on the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

Apr 12, 2021

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly refused to say whether the June projections for vaccination will change if restrictions are put on the rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Taoiseach Michéal Martin previously said that 80pc of adults will have their first dose of a Covid vaccine by the end of June.
However, some countries have stopped administering the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine to younger adults due to the rare side effect of blood clots, and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) is to due to make recommendations today.
The vaccination delivery projections are that in April, May and June, the AstraZeneca jab will make up 21pc of all vaccines administered.
However, speaking on RTÉ Radio 1s Morning Ireland this morning, Mr Donnelly would not confirm whether the speed of the roll-out would be impacted by the NIAC recommendations.
He did suggest that when operational changes were made in the past due to recommendations from NIAC that the pace of the rollout didnt change.
At the moment if the vaccines come in as they are forecast to do then by the end of June four in every five adults that wants a vaccine will be in a position to be offered one, it really is a great cause for hope, particularly on a day like today as we take a cautious but an important step out of the pandemic, he said.
The Minister added that there is no point in speculating until NIAC has made a decision, saying: We will have word from NIAC very shortly and when we do if the operations do need to adjust them we will adjust them.
“It depends what NIAC says, we dont know what NIAC is going to say. They have given several recommendations that had serious operational consequences and the HSE stepped up to them each time and critically the pace of the roll-out didnt change.
So, I think rather than speculating on what NIAC might say let’s wait to see what they say and if there are any operational changes.
As 16 new countries have been added to the hotel quarantine list, many people are scrambling home before it comes into effect on Thursday.
When asked if the reason the announcement was made almost a week in advance to allow people to do this, Minister Donnelly said no and that it is to give people the opportunity to book into hotel mandatory quarantine.
Its to make sure that people have the time to book into quarantine, what we don’t want is a situation where you have a lot of people scheduled to come into Ireland and they havent booked, he said.
“Inevitably, if you have a gap between announcing that a country will be on a category 2 list and when you go live with that, there will be people who look in to get ahead of that, that’s perfectly natural that they would.
The Health Minister said that in the future there could be a cap on the number of people being allowed to enter the country due to hotel mandatory capacity.
Its possible, that’s the system the Australian and New Zealanders run, that wouldwork on allocation based on room availability, he said.
What we want to do is match supply with demand, but obviously when it’s impossible to know exactly what the reduction is going to be you add capacity as you go.
The capacity is calculated on an 80pc reduction, what we saw in the UK was between 80 and 95pc reduction. We have seen for the first 33 countries a significant reduction.
“If we have less of a reduction than that we will bring more capacity online. We have a little more than 650 beds, that’s being ramped up to an excess of 1100 and there is a facility that can go significantly above that.
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