Cork GP warns further vaccine shortfalls could hinder country in reaching vaccine targets 

Cork GP warns further vaccine shortfalls could hinder country in reaching vaccine targets 

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that the shortfall in Covid-19 vaccines last week will be made up in the coming days. Picture Dan Linehan

A CORK GP said he hopes that issues with the supply of Covid-19 vaccines will be addressed, as shortfalls along the way may hinder the country’s ability to reach vaccination targets.

The comments from Cork GP John Sheehan came as it emerged that Ireland failed to reach its vaccination target last week.

Figures published on Monday show that 81,843 doses were administered last week, falling short of the 100,000 target.

The HSE said it was told by AstraZeneca late last week that its deliveries were being deferred.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said yesterday that the shortfall in Covid-19 vaccines last week will be made up in the coming days.

“The key is the ongoing issue of supply from AstraZeneca, Pfizer BioNTech, and Moderna,” said Mr Martin.

“There have, without question, been bumps along the way, most recently a shortfall of supply last week from AstraZeneca, as the chair of the [vaccine] taskforce said last Saturday.”

Dr. John Sheehan. Picture Dan Linehan
Dr. John Sheehan. Picture Dan Linehan

Dr Sheehan said further shortfalls could hinder Ireland in reaching its vaccination target for the end of the month.

“I think it’s going to be a challenge because if you fall behind in your targets, it’s harder to make them up,” said Dr Sheehan.

“If we have another couple of weeks like this, it’s hard to see how we will make that target but as long as we keep going and as long as we keep vaccinating, that’s the important thing.”

The GP said that, hopefully, supply will ramp up next month.

“We’re hearing that more vaccines will be approved, that in April the supply will ramp up considerably and hopefully that will be the case, that there won’t be delays with supplybecause, I think, everyone is just very anxious to get on with it as soon as possible,” said Dr Sheehan.

He noted the importance of a timely rollout in returning to “some sense of normality”.

“The sooner it comes, the sooner we can get our lives back to some sense of normality, and it’s frustrating when you have vaccination centres set up and ready to go and then we don’t have vaccines,” he said.

“I know that’s a European problem and it’s a supply problem and in fairness to the HSE, as soon as it comes in it seems to be distributed but it is frustrating when you just want to be giving it and you want to be getting on with it and we don’t have enough of it.” 

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