The HSE is still in the process of distributing AstraZeneca vaccine supplies that arrived into the country almost a week ago.
t comes as the most up-to-date vaccination data shows that 3,173 doses of Pfizer and Moderna supplies were administered on Tuesday and 1,296 doses of the same products were administered on Monday. As of Tuesday, 476 doses of AstraZeneca had been administered.
A total of 21,600 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine arrived last Saturday but up-to-date figures on how many have been administered have not been supplied by the HSE.
The AstraZeneca product was originally earmarked for use by GPs in the administration of vaccines to people over the age of 70.
However, a different plan had to be developed after the National Immunisation Advisory Committee recommended that people over the age of 70 should receive the Pfizer BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, as there was not enough data on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine in older people.
In a statement to the Irish Independent, the HSE said it had “distributed 15,000 doses” of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 29 hospital locations for the administration of first-dose vaccines to prioritised frontline health care workers from acute hospital, community, private and voluntary healthcare services this week.
Separately, 2,000 doses were “distributed” to the national ambulance service and a further 3,000 are being “allocated” to vaccinate additional vaccinators this weekend in preparation for the over-70 vaccination programme.
The remaining balance, 1,600 doses, have not yet been distributed. The HSE said the “balance of doses are due for distribution in the coming days”.
It is understood that a similar-sized batch of AstraZeneca supplies is due for delivery this weekend.
According to the HSE, Ireland ranks third in the EU in terms of the speed of vaccine roll-out.
A total of 243,353 doses of vaccine had been administered by Monday – with 154,900 people receiving their first jab and 88,453 people fully vaccinated.
The HSE expects to administer 79,500 more doses next week – with the over-85s the next group on the list.
The plan will see 42,500 care homes residents getting the jab, alongside 25,000 frontline healthcare workers and 12,000 elderly people.
At a briefing on Thursday, HSE Chief Executive Paul Reid said Ireland has one of the highest vaccination rates in Europe per head of population.
“Certainly, as you will hear from all commentary, that puts Ireland currently third in the EU for dose per 100 of the population,” he said. “Just behind Malta and Denmark and well above the EU average.”
Speaking at the Dáil yesterday, the Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the over-70s will not be fully vaccinated until the middle of May.
The Government’s initial target was for all over-70s to have been vaccinated by the end of March.
Mr Donnelly said it will now be closer to the middle of the year.
“The schedule I have would suggest that the group will have finished their second doses by mid-May but, as always, these things are dependent on the supplies arriving in.
“If we get the supplies that are forecast and, as we all now know, these things go up and down, it will be around mid-May when the second doses are complete,” he said.