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02nd Dec 2020

Government minister gives dates on when COVID vaccine may be approved for Ireland

Rory Cashin

First Covid-19 vaccine offers "90% protection"

It follows the news that Northern Ireland and the rest of the UK approved use of the vaccine.

It was announced on Wednesday morning that the UK had authorised the rollout of a Covid-19 vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech.

The UK government stated that the vaccine will be made available from next week and that the NHS will “begin putting their extensive preparations into action to provide care and support to all those eligible for vaccination”, with residents and staff in care homes expected to receive the vaccination first.

This announcement has raised the questions of when a similar rollout might happen in Ireland, but the Irish approval must come through the European Medicines Agency.

However, the Minister for Public Expenditure Michael McGrath has stated that the decision for the approval in Ireland will be made within the next few weeks, telling Newstalk that the European Medicines Agency “have signalled they have received the application from Pfizer / BioNTech. They’ll meet in late December – 29th December. They may make a decision as early as then, or possibly on 12th January.”

It has previously been reported that Ireland is expecting to get nine million doses from maybe two or three companies creating and supplying the vaccinations. That will be enough to vaccinate the entire country, but it is expected that the rollout process will take several months to perform.

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