Ireland may be able to provide a Covid-19 vaccine to everyone in the country who wants one by August 2021 in a “fairly positive scenario”, a senior official tasked with vaccine roll-out said on Tuesday.
While it is impossible to be precise, “one fairly positive scenario that we’d be looking at for the month of August would be over 2 million doses of vaccine arriving”, the chair of the government’s Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force, Brian MacCraith, told RTE radio.
“If all things come to pass that are in that model in terms of expected approval dates and expected delivery schedules, one would be looking at that stage of being very close or at the point of closing out the vaccination of as much of the population of Ireland that want to receive vaccines,” he said.
The modelling that this prediction is based on excludes people under the age of 18 and pregnant women, who are not allowed to take the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and the fact that a minority of the population are likely to refuse vaccination.
The first Covid-19 vaccines should be administered in Ireland on 29 December, with the inoculations becoming available at four hospitals across the country.
The first recipient of the vaccine in Ireland is set to be 79-year-old Grandmother of 10, Annie, from Dublin.
The vaccination programme is set to begin in hospital settings before moving to more than 580 nursing homes from next 4 January.
This good news of vaccine roll-out comes as the country sees a spike of Covid cases, with 765 cases reported on Monday 28 December.
Deaths remain relatively low in the country, with 46 deaths recorded in the week of 21-28 December.