HSE missed 100,000 vaccine dose target last week

A total of 81,843 vaccine doses were administered in the week to February 28th

Prof MacCraith has said the delay is “not a reduction in deliveries” and that the State can “recover completely what had been lost” from next weekend.

The Government previously said the vaccination rollout would accelerate this month with about 100,000 doses being administered per week in March, rising to between 200,000 and 300,000 per week in April.

However, the target of vaccinating all over-85s by the end of this week is unlikely to be achieved, with at least 30 smaller GP practices yet to receive a vaccine delivery or a date this week for delivery to inoculate their oldest patients.

As a whole, almost 300,000 people in the Republic had received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine by February 28th.

More than 50,000 people aged over 70 (Cohort 3 in the vaccine priority list) have received their first dose.

In the North, 537,389 people had received their first jab by March 1st, while 35,370 are fully vaccinated.

Vaccinations have now been extended to people aged 60 to 64 in Northern Ireland.

The update means that almost 6 per cent of the Republic's total population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine, compared to just over 28 per cent in the North.

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