State surpasses 2.5 million vaccinations early as weekly targets set to increase

The next announcement on the easing of restrictions is due to take place on Friday following a meeting of the Cabinet.
State surpasses 2.5 million vaccinations early as weekly targets set to increase

Over 2.5 million doses of the Covid-19 vaccine are now thought to have been administered in the Republic of Ireland ahead of a HSE announcement regarding the next phase of the vaccine rollout.

On Thursday, the health service is expected to detail plans to ramp up the number of doses administered per week to over 400,000, with approximately 300,000 shots given last week according to The Irish Times.

On Tuesday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin tweeted that he had been informed by the HSE the country was due to pass the 2.5 million milestone earlier than expected. This information was based on deliveries to GPs and vaccination centres rather than daily reports due to the ongoing disruption caused by the recent cyberattack on the HSE's IT systems.

About 300,000 doses are also expected to be administered this week before the second acceleration of the rollout from next month when scheduled deliveries are due to increase to over 400,000 a week.

However, there continues to be concerns regarding the delivery of AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson (J&J), also known as Janssen, vaccines. J&J have already had shortfalls in the number of doses delivered in May and officials fear June's deliveries may be focused on the end of the month.

This would have a knock-on effect for the State's target to have first doses given to 80 per cent of the eligible adult population by the end of June.

The increased pace of the vaccine rollout has however led to greater confidence among officials regarding the reopening of the economy, with the next easing of restrictions due to be announced later this week following a meeting of the Cabinet on Friday.

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