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First vaccines to be administered in Ireland on 30 December

The Minister for Health has said that tens of thousands of doses will arrive in Ireland each week from early January.

Image: Shutterstock/Dusan Petkovic

THE FIRST VACCINES against Covid-19 in Ireland will be administered on 30 December, the health minister has said.

The Cabinet has been told that some 10,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine are expected to be delivered after Christmas.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said that tens of thousands of doses will arrive in Ireland each week from early January following the initial delivery.

Donnelly said it is hoped that residents of nursing homes will have received their two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine by “some time in February”.

The rollout of the vaccine will commence next week as the first doses arrive in Ireland following the green light for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine from the European Commission.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) recommended the approval of the vaccine yesterday, with the European Commission giving its formal authorisation shortly afterwards.

The vaccine will first be delivered to priority groups in line with the vaccine taskforce’s rollout plan.

Speaking this afternoon, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the country is “mobilising an unprecedented national effort”.

He said that the vaccination rollout would bring greater freedom in “how we manage the virus in the new year”.

“Vaccinating millions of people will take time, and in the meantime, we have to be very vigilant,” Martin said.

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“We cannot go any faster than we are allowed by the supply of the vaccines and the dosing schedule required for them to be effective.”

The highest priority groups for the vaccine are those living in long-term care facilities over the age of 65 and frontline healthcare workers in direct contact with patients.

People aged 85 and older and those aged 70 and older will be next in line to receive the vaccine, followed by other healthcare workers and people aged between 65 and 69, particularly those with medical conditions that put them at high risk of severe disease.

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