143,000 vaccines administered across Ireland so far
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143,000 vaccines administered across Ireland so far

IRELAND'S MINISTER For Health has confirmed that 143,000 vaccinations against Covid-19 have been administered across the country.

Ireland began the roll-out of coronavirus vaccinations in late December 2020, and one month later 143,000 vaccinations have been administered across the nation.

Two vaccines have been approved so far in Ireland: the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine and the Moderna vaccine.

So far, 143,000 vaccinations have been administered in the community, with priority given to the elderly and vulnerable, front-line staff and nursing home residents.

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly confirmed the news yesterday evening, writing on Twitter:

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"Well done to our vaccinating teams who completed 143,000 vaccinations to Sunday (Jan 24). This is a great result and tribute to all involved."

He later added in a statement that a community vaccination programme will begin in February, "subject to regulatory approval of AstraZeneca", the Oxford vaccine.

"Despite anticipated disruption to deliveries, which was announced on Friday 22 January, Ireland will receive a delivery of AstraZeneca vaccine within the expected range for February, although at the lower end of that range.

However, he said, "delivery in March is likely to be more impacted and considerably lower than what was originally stated by the company".

"We continue to prioritise those most vulnerable to COVID-19 in our society against the backdrop of limited supply of vaccines."

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Most nursing home residents have already received at least one dose, and those who were unable to receive a vaccination due to contracting Covid-19 or large outbreaks in certain nursing homes "will be prioritised and vaccinated as soon as possible", he said.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly, TD.

Healthcare workers will also remain a priority, and 77,000 doses will be administered to frontline workers in the coming weeks, Minister Donnelly added.

"The HSE administered 143,000 vaccine doses to Sunday, January 24. I would like to thank the HSE, members of the High-Level Task Force on COVID-19 Vaccination, and their teams, for the effort and commitment they are putting into the efficient roll out of the vaccine programme.

"As we have seen in recent days, in these early stages things can change quickly and we have to build delivery around supply. Everyone involved understands the importance of this programme to the country. Everything that can be done is being done, and will be done, to deliver it."

Minister Donnelly went on to say that the Government is "committed" to providing the public with full daily vaccination numbers, but while there is currently a backlog in figures, the HSE is "working hard to achieve full utilisation of the vaccination IT system" and daily figures will be available soon.

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Minister Donnelly had previously predicted that everyone over the age of 70 in Ireland will have received the vaccine by September.