Ireland is on track to achieve its summer Covid vaccine targets, after distributing over a quarter of a million doses in a week for the first time.
This morning brought confirmation that almost 253,000 doses were administered between last Tuesday and this Monday.
The State must administer at least a quarter of a million doses every week for the foreseeable future, in order to reach the Government target of vaccinating four out of five adults with a first dose by the end of June.
However, the rollout milestone comes as less than one per cent of people in a high-risk category have received a Covid-19 vaccine.
Pleased have just been administered my 1st Dose #AstraZenaca vaccine at the @itsligo. Thanks to Gerry McGlinchey & for coming back from retirement to be a vaccinator. The overall vaccination programme is a massive showcase for the value of our public & health services. @HSELive pic.twitter.com/z4P8GvxaKu
— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) May 11, 2021
As of Sunday, just 2,785 people in Cohort 7 had been given their first dose. People aged 16 to 59 in this group are at high risk of developing severe disease due to underlying conditions.
The HSE defended the figures this morning, saying many people in Cohort 7 have been offered an injection through the age-based system.
It said that as a result, many people in the group may have already received a vaccine based on their age, but overall cohort sizes have yet to be adjusted since the introduction of age-based groups in April.
To date, more than 283,000 over-60s and more than 20,000 over-50s have been vaccinated.
The HSE said that many people in Group 7 may also have been categorised as Group 4 — the cohort of people with medical conditions putting them at a very high risk of severe disease.
Meanwhile, chief executive of the HSE, Paul Reid, tweeted that he had received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine on Tuesday morning.
The Government has said it is aiming to “keep moving forward” with its plan to reopen Ireland amid “very positive” Covid vaccine impact data.
In an update on the State’s vaccine rollout after a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, the Government said 250,000 to 270,000 vaccines would be distributed this week.
Over 1.8 million vaccines have been administered and more than a third of Ireland’s adult population has now received one dose.
With registration opening for those aged 50 to 59 on a staggered basis, the last of the cohort, those aged 50, will be invited to register for their vaccine from tomorrow, May 13th.
Of the doses to be distributed this week, it is planned that 80,000 to 90,000 will go to over-70s through GPs, 50,000 to 60,000 will go to very high-risk and high-risk groups through hospital groups and GPs, and 120,000 will go to those aged 50 to 69 through mass vaccination centres.