Donnelly claims hopes to vaccinate 'every resident' by September 'wasn't a promise'

By Sarah Finnan

January 27, 2021 at 11:19am

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Donnelly claims hopes to vaccinate 'every resident' by September 'wasn't a promise'

"It wasn't a promise, as you said, it was heavily caveated."

Speaking on RTÉ radio this morning, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly responded to questions from Claire Byrne on comments he made earlier in the week regarding a timeline for nationwide vaccination.

Donnelly previously told the Dáil that every Irish resident is to be offered a vaccine before September time - providing all expected vaccine candidates get regulatory approval.

"The plan up to March 5th as we said is Level 5 measures, past March 5th is to ramp up the vaccination programme.

"And remember, we're doing the highest risk people first, so even though we might get to whatever, 10, 20 per cent of the population, we'll seriously reduce the total risk of Covid in terms of hospitalisation and death which allows us to reopen the priority areas - education and healthcare and jobs."

Later asked if it was "wise" to have made such a preliminary promise given how many problems are being faced on the vaccine supply side, Donnelly responded by saying:

"It wasn't a promise, as you said, it was heavily caveated."

Commenting that the predicted timeline was given based on a broad number of different factors, he confirmed that "September is absolutely still the aspiration".

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