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Friday 24 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
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# covid vaccines
Ireland to donate up to three million vaccines to Covax initiative
The Minister for Health made the announcement today.

THE GOVERNMENT HAS announced plans to donate at least three million vaccines to low-income countries as part of the Covax programme.

The Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney announced today that Ireland will donate the doses to Covax, which aims to supply poorer countries with an equal amount of vaccines as wealthier nations.

It comes after the World Health Organisation (WHO) warned against vaccine hoarding by rich nations as the new Omicron variant continues to spread.

The ministers said that the universal and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines is a priority for Ireland and for the European Union. 

Donnelly said Ireland has been at the forefront of the global response to the pandemic and remains committed to universal and equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines and treatments.

“Today’s announcement that Ireland will donate up to three million vaccine doses builds on and is additional to Government’s previous commitment to donate two million vaccines,” he said.

“While our national vaccination programmes continues with the rollout and acceleration of the booster programme, it is vitally important that we ensure that vaccines reach those who need them most across the globe.”

Our donated vaccines have already been delivered to a number of countries including Uganda, Nigeria and Indonesia. The latest consignment will shortly arrive in Ghana and further doses will be delivered to lower income countries over the coming weeks and months.

Minister Coveney said while the global vaccination rate is now over 40%, rates in many developing countries are below 2%.

“As we go into the Christmas period, we must remember that others go into the weeks ahead without the vaccine protection rates we have achieved in Ireland. Vaccination significantly reduces the risk of serious illness. Everybody, regardless of where they are from, should have access to vaccines.”

He added that today’s announcement is “a further sign of Ireland’s commitment to addressing this imbalance”.

Minister of State for Overseas Aid and the Diaspora Colm Brophy added: “The commitment to greatly expand Ireland’s vaccine sharing programme is a statement of our solidarity with others and a sign of our determination to help bring this pandemic under control.”

“As I discussed with Dr. Mike Ryan today, it is really important that Ireland continues to invest in global public health systems. Our health at home is interlinked with people’s health abroad. That is why over the last two years, Irish Aid has invested over €200 million in building global health public systems.

“In addition to the ramping up of our vaccine sharing through Covax, Irish Aid has also provided Covax with €8.5 million. This support, together with our sustained investment in global public health systems, is essential.”

Covax has shipped over 610 million Covid vaccines to 144 countries since March.

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