Taoiseach hints that US could help Ireland with vaccine supplies in summer

Taoiseach hints that US could help Ireland with vaccine supplies in summer

TAOISEACH Micheál Martin has suggested that America might be able to send some spare Covid-19 vaccines Ireland's way, but not for a few months.

During their virtual St Patrick's Day meeting on Wednesday, Martin is understood to have asked President Joe Biden about the possibility of the US offering Ireland help with their vaccine shortages.

It's understood that Biden refused to promise anything but pledged to keep an open mind when summer comes around and once America's vaccination roll-out is further down the line.

Speaking to reporters at Government Buildings after their virtual meeting, Martin said: "I think it's fair to say, it was really interesting, really, that the US is facing similar logistical challenges to what we are all facing in terms of getting vaccinations, getting a Covid vaccination programme in play.

"And I think like every other country, they're very anxious, and [Biden] is very anxious to get as many of his people vaccinated as possible."

Martin said that Biden outlined a belief that he'd have a much better idea of "where they are" in the summer, and would be holding off on any promise until then.

Elsewhere during their meeting, Biden said he would defend the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement, and spoke of his wish to return to Ireland as soon as possible.

He even told the Taoiseach that when he last visited, when he was vice president in 2016, he wondered to himself why his ancestors ever left in the first place.