Almost 4 million vaccine deliveries expected before July as booking portal opens in two weeks

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The Department today said it expects 3.9 million doses to be delivered by 30 June.

Updated 18 minutes ago

THE DEPARTMENT OF Health has released official vaccine supply projections for April, May and June.

It is estimated that 3.9 million doses will be delivered by 30 June and with the Department providing a breakdown of supply by manufacturer for the first time. 

The breakdown comes as Taoiseach Micheál Martin confirmed that the HSE vaccine portal will open the week starting 19 April, allowing 65-69 year olds to book their jabs. 

People aged 65-69 are in Cohort 6 of the government’s prioritisation list, after those with underlying health conditions. 

HSE Paul Reid said today that the booking process will involve people registering their details online and being texted their vaccine slot, with some receiving their vaccines that week. 

He said the HSE “will have to deal with some exceptions” for people who don’t have access to the internet and that those people will be dealt with “through a separate process”. 

Of those who book their vaccination online, most will receive their shots in vaccination centres. 

“Within that week we will be starting the process, so the week commencing the 19th, that week we will be starting the process to vaccinate people in that age group as well,  primarily through the vaccination centres,” Reid said. 

Speaking on RTÉ’s News at One, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly also said that the vaccine centres are set to take on a greater role. 

“We’re ramping up as the supply comes in, so for example right across the country we have 38 vaccination centres and 19 of them are now open. And obviously the plan is, as we move to several hundred thousand vaccines a week, that they will take on more and more of the heavy lifting,” he said.  

Q2

Ireland is expected to receive 2,128,000 doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Q2 – 546,000 doses in April, 738,000 in May and 844,000 in June. 

The country should expect to receive 383,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine in Q2 – 118,000 in both April and May with 147,000 doses set to be delivered in June. 

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Source: Department of Health

Today marks the first 100 days of Ireland’s vaccination programme which has experienced supply issues and controversy around prioritisation. 

As of Sunday, 936,087 doses had been administered in Ireland with the country expected to reach a milestone of 1 million doses administered this week. 

Of those, 663,411 were first doses with 272,676 people in Ireland now fully vaccinated. 

Donnelly also said today that projected deliveries for Q2 “can, and will, fluctuate”.

“Delivery schedules have changed in the past as they are dependent on manufacturers meeting commitments,” he said. 

“Confirmation of specific delivery dates typically occurs two weeks before a delivery is due. I hope these figures will provide some degree of comfort around the sheer volume of vaccines due in the coming months, but would stress they are indicative.”

Delivery estimates released today show that June will be a key month in Ireland’s vaccine rollout. The Government has committed to giving 80% of adults a first dose by 30 June. 

A total of 1,750,000 doses are expected for delivery in June with 1,250,000 doses expected in May and 929,000 expected in April. 

The vast bulk of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine [432,000] are not expected to be delivered until June. 

AstraZeneca – which has caused significant delivery setbacks in Ireland – is expected to supply 813,000 doses in Q2 – 224,000 in April, 262,000 in May and 327,000 in June. 

Today’s forecasts come after all three teachers’ unions have passed a motion calling for prioritisation in the vaccination programme and a ballot for industrial action, including strike, if the government does not meet their demands.

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The three unions – the Irish National Teachers’ Organisation (INTO), Association of Secondary Teachers Ireland (ASTI) and Teachers’ Union of Ireland (TUI) – had agreed to table a joint motion on the issue at their annual conferences, which began yesterday.

The motion condemns the recent changes to the priority listing for teachers within the national vaccination programme and demands the government re-instates education staff as a priority group within the national vaccination programme.

The motion also demands early vaccination within the overall cohort of education staff of pregnant teachers, those in higher risk categories and those who work in special schools, special classes and home school community liaison teachers.

If the government does not agree to prioritise teachers in the programme by the end of the current school year, the motion mandates a ballot of members for industrial action up to and including strike.

Minister Foley told Morning Ireland the decision to shift to an age-based vaccine roll-out was not “a value judgement” on any profession but based on the available science. 

– With reporting by Rónán Duffy

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