Current phase of vaccine rollout is ‘most challenging logistically’, Government says

Ireland is in the most challenging logistical phase of the vaccination rollout and people have been urged to comply with public health guidance to ensure there is not a fourth surge of Covid-19 before the full benefits of the inoculations are felt.
The remarks were made by senior government official Liz Canavan as it separately emerged this morning that Ireland is to receive a further 46,500 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine as part of a deal secured by the European Union.
There has been pressure on the Government in recent days over the slow pace of the vaccine rollout and missed targets for deliveries and administration of the injections.
Efforts to source extra vaccines from other EU countries and the UK have been unsuccessful as has a Government bid to convince pharma companies Pfizer and Merck to manufacture vaccines in Ireland to boost supply.
Four million extra Pfizer-BioNTech doses will be delivered to EU countries under a deal which was reached with the pharmaceutical company, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced on Wednesday.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the doses would arrive by the end of March, and administered quickly.
He also said that efforts were ongoing to increase production of the vaccine.
The doses will be distributed to member states according to their population size, meaning Ireland is in line for roughly 46,500 extra vaccines, enough to fully vaccinate 23,225 people, in March on top of the deliveries that were already due, according to the Government.
A Government source said the extra doses will supplement the existing rollout plan and there are no plans to change the order of prioritisation for administering vaccines for different groups.
Pleased this morning to have confirmation from Commission President @vonderleyen that Ireland will secure an additional 46,500 Pfizer BioNTech vaccines before the end of March. When they get here, they will be administered quickly. Efforts ongoing to increase production.
Micheál Martin (@MichealMartinTD)
March 10, 2021
We have reached an agreement with BioNTech-Pfizer for the supply of four million more doses of COVID-19 vaccines for EU countries in the next two weeks.
This will help tackle coronavirus hotspots and facilitate free border movement. #StrongerTogether
European Commission (@EU_Commission)
March 10, 2021