Ireland is not the only country struggling getting the jabs out to its citizens

Since the approval of the first Covid-19 vaccines, Ireland’s rollout has been plagued with issues.
Despite the fact that we have had vaccines approved in Europe since December, the country’s rollout has been painfully slow.
Ireland is not the only country struggling getting the jabs out to its citizens however there are a number of other nations that have made huge strides in their programme.
Here’s where Ireland stands at the moment:
Ireland compared to other nations
To date Ireland has vaccinated just over 3% of its population.
As of March 6, 523,069 doses of Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland. 373,149 people have received their first dose while 149,920 people have received their second dose.
Compared to other EU nations Ireland is somewhere in the middle with Germany, France, Italy and Spain all leading the way.
A single dose of the Pfizer vaccine is enough to protect someone who has already been infected, research shows (Image: Joseph Raynor/ Nottingham Post)
However, the vaccine rollout over all in the EU has been slow.
Compared to the UK Ireland is way behind with over 22 million people receiving their first dose of the vaccine and over 1 million fully vaccinated.
Over in the US 92 million vaccine doses have also been administered while in Israel has vaccinated 3.7 million people of its 9 million population.
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The Challenges
To date the biggest issue facing Ireland has been supply. Taoiseach Micheal Martin this week admitted that the first quarter of the vaccine rollout had been’ disappointing’.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said ongoing delays with the delivery of vaccines from AstraZeneca are “very frustrating.”
But the Minister said the target to vaccinate over 80% of adults by June is still intact.
He said: “The repeated revisions from AstraZeneca are very frustrating for Ireland, right across the EU.
“It is really important to say that the vaccination programme is having an amazing effect in the cohorts where it’s being delivered. In hospital staff, there’s a 95% reduction in infections.
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“So the good news is that the vaccines are incredibly effective.
“The HSE’s job is to get it out to the priority groups as it comes in.”
Speaking to RTE, Minister Donnelly said the challenge in terms of vaccine procurement is more to do with obtaining the doses.
He added that his department has been talking to other governments and the manufacturers but they are being told it is simply not the case that there are excess supplies sitting in warehouses that have not been allocated.
Meanwhile, further issues could see the rollout slowed again due to the slow arrival of supplies of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine which is expected to be approved for use in Europe within days.
Vaccination centre DCU
The medicines giant has told the European Union it is facing supply issues that may complicate plans to delivery 55 million doses of its vaccine to member states in the second quarter of this year.
HSE chief Paul Reid admitted the 600,000 ordered doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will be delayed, possibly until May or June, and initial supplies will be low.
The Taoiseach also ruled out the possibility taking any surplus vaccines from the UK until their populations is fully inoculated.
The good news
The good news is that the initial vaccines that we have already administered are already showing hugely encouraging signs.
HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid today said that there was evidence that the vaccines were already having a massive effect on keeping infections down in healthcare settings.
Mr Reid said: “So far, great signs of the impacts of vaccinations. Serial testing in nursing homes at 0.2% positivity. Percentages of cases in healthcare workers down from 16% to 4%.
“Mortality, infections and transmissions levels down, along with hospitalisations and ICU.”
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