Cabinet signing off on €100 million worth of vaccines

Cabinet will today sign off on a plan to deliver more than €100 million worth of vaccines across the country, as the State moves to implement the most important inoculation programme since its foundation.

According to the Irish Times, the State will roll out 14 million doses of at least five different vaccines.

There will be five types of locations where the doses will be administered across the country, including mass vaccination centres potentially at Citywest in west Dublin and the National Show Centre in Cloghran, near Dublin airport.

The details are contained in a new report prepared by a high-level taskforce chaired by Prof Brian MacCraith, which details the types of locations which will be used at different stages of the planned roll-out.

The first locations will be hospitals, followed by long-term residential care facilities, which will be served by mobile distribution teams from a nearby hospital.

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There will then be centralised mass vaccination centres, and once broader sections of society are vaccinated GPs and pharmacies will play a bigger role.

IT system

The programme will draw on the existing pool of vaccinators working within the health system, and sources said there were a number of options being progressed to scale up the workforce for the roll-out.

The HSE is also working on a new IT system which will cover registrations, bookings, second bookings and monitoring.

Sources said a “ready-made software solution” was being sourced, and is hoped it will be ready by the end of the year.

Ireland is currently signed up to at least five advanced purchase agreements for different vaccines, and if these are all approved by the European Medicines Agency at least 14 million vaccine doses will be available.

Sources have said the cost of the drugs will be about €112 million.

It comes as yesterday, Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that although there will be limited quantities of the Covid-19 vaccine in January and February, there will be enough for priority cases.

Speaking on RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Mr Martin said greater quantities of the vaccine will become available in Mary, April and May as further vaccines come on stream and manufacturing around the world is increased.

There will be staged timeline approach depending on availability, he said.

Mr Martin added he was concerned about the recent rise in cases across the island and warned “we cannot let our guard down.”

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