You might have spotted this on Twitter and not realised the reason behind it.
On Sunday evening, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly quote tweeted a tweet from the President of the EU Commissions, Ursula von der Leyen.
The original message stated: "Step forward on vaccines. AstraZeneca will deliver 9 million additional doses in the first quarter (40 million in total) compared to last week’s offer & will start deliveries one week earlier than scheduled. The company will also expand its manufacturing capacity in Europe."
To which Donnelly added: "This is progress and will mean more vaccines for Ireland in the next two months."
At the time of writing on Monday morning, Donnelly's tweet has over 550 retweets, over 1,400 likes, and well over SIX THOUSDAND replies, most of which as just a thumbs-up emoji.
You head to the tweet here and just start scrolling...
This is progress and will mean more vaccines for Ireland 🇮🇪 in the next two months. https://t.co/1XeDDLBqks
— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) January 31, 2021
The reason for this is down to an article published in the Sunday Independent this weekend, which revolved around a series of leaked texts and emails between Donnelly and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Tony Holohan, regarding the imminent rise of covid cases around the country.
Part of the report in the Sunday Independent includes the following:
"[On] Thursday, October 22, Holohan texted Donnelly to inform him that the R number for Dublin had gone up to between 1.2 and 1.3. Donnelly responded with a thumbs-up emoji."
So, now you know the why behind the thumbs up.
Despite that, the AstraZeneca news is a good news, if not as good news as it could be. Initially, Ireland were to have received 1.4 million doses of the vaccine by the end of the March, but the recent delays putting that number down to 1.1 million, and the new addition mentioned in the above tweet by von der Leyen putting Ireland's expected amount now reportedly back up to approximately 1.2 million by the end of March.