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Debunked: No, the Covid-19 vaccine figures don't include missed appointments

An independent TD claimed that the official vaccine figures refer to the number of appointments made rather than doses administered.


DURING THE WEEK independent TD Richard O’Donoghue incorrectly claimed that the Covid-19 vaccination figures being reported by the media are false as they relate to the number of appointments made, rather than doses administered.

O’Donoghue, a member of the Rural Independent Group, on Wednesday claimed that the media was knowingly reporting false vaccination figures.

vaccines 02 A Covid-19 vaccine being administered at the vaccination centre in the Helix Dublin (file photo) Source: Sam Boal/

He said the official HSE statistics overstate the level of vaccine uptake in Ireland as the figures refer to appointments, not administered vaccines, and one person may be offered multiple appointments.

However, the TD’s assertion is incorrect.

When asked by The Journal about O’Donoghue’s comments, HSE CEO Paul Reid said the TD was “misinformed”.

Speaking at the HSE’s weekly press briefing yesterday, Reid said: “I think the deputy was misinformed because what we publish every day are completed administered vaccines.

“I didn’t hear the full statement but I understand what the deputy was saying was that [the figure] includes appointments that may not have been met, so the actual administration [figure is lower] – that’s incorrect.

We would overbook in our vaccination centres, above and beyond what we plan to administer, because inevitably there’s a no-show. The published figures that we publish every day are fully administered vaccines on each day.

Over five million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Ireland to date – 54% of adults are fully vaccinated and over 70% have received one dose.

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A spokesperson for the HSE added: “Vaccination in Ireland is an opt-in process and all evidence suggests there has been excellent vaccine uptake in all cohorts to date.

A statement noted: “The number recorded as having been delivered will always be modestly below the number actually delivered. This will be due to a lag in a small number of cases between the actual administration of the vaccination and the subsequent recording of details on the system.

“The numbers reported are understated as the HSE is still in the process of uploading all GP vaccinations since the cyberattack and they currently exclude vaccinations administered by pharmacists.

“Health Protection Surveillance Centre (HPSC) is using the CSO 2021 M2F2 population estimates for the Covid-19 vaccine uptake data. However, in relation to gender HPSC is also using the CSO 2020 estimates.”

The Journal’s FactCheck is a signatory to the International Fact-Checking Network’s Code of Principles. You can read it here. For information on how FactCheck works, what the verdicts mean, and how you can take part, check out our Reader’s Guide here. You can read about the team of editors and reporters who work on the factchecks here

Have you gotten a message on WhatsApp or Facebook or Twitter about coronavirus that you’re not sure about and want us to check it out? Message or mail us and we’ll look into debunking it. WhatsApp: 085 221 4696 or Email:

About the author:

Órla Ryan

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