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08th Jan 2021

Head of Ireland’s vaccine task force confident “more than one million people” vaccinated by June

Rory Cashin

The first Covid vaccine has officially been administered in Ireland

The HSE have also announced that 35,000 people will receive the vaccination this week.

Anne O’Connor, the Chief Operating Officer for the Health Service Executive, told RTE today that a total of 35,000 people are expected to receive the vaccine this week, split 32,000 to healthcare workers and 3,000 in care homes.

She anticipates 40,000 people to receive the vaccine next week, stating that currently the maximum they can carry out is 50,000 per week, but the HSE expects that to change.

On Thursday night, Education Minister Norma Foley stated that it was possible that “more than one million people” could be vaccinated by June, and while speaking to RTE Today, Professor Brian MacCraith, the head of the High-Level Task Force on Covid-19 Vaccination in Ireland, responded to that statement:

“It could be right indeed but it’s based on assumptions around the growth of vaccine availability. I think we are expecting that at some stage during the summer we will hit very large numbers if all the vaccines get approved and all the schedules of arrival happen.

“We certainly would be looking at in some months perhaps up to a million vaccines arriving per month, which means that we will get to large number. Bear in mind already we’re guaranteed well over 12 million doses through the advanced purchase agreements and the European Commission and the announcement this morning adds another 3 million to that.

“I think the minister was making a positive and confident assumption, we don’t have the figures to absolutely make a commitment on that yet but I think it’s not a bad estimation in terms of where things will be by summer.”

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