A TARGET TO have 2.5 million people fully vaccinated by end of July has been set, according to both Tánaiste Leo Varadkar and HSE Chief Paul Reid.
It comes as Reid says that half of all adults (1.9 million) have received a first dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.
Speaking to RTÉ’s This Week, Varadkar said that the government’s new aim was to ensure that 60% of the population, or 2.5 million people, are fully vaccinated by the end of July to help reduce the risk of a fourth wave of the virus.
Comparing the current easing of restrictions to the easing in December, Varadkar said that the risks of a fourth wave come from increased socialisation, but that the difference is that vaccination is now available.
“What’s different now is vaccines, and the vaccines work against all the variants,” said Varadkar,
“But the problem is only 20% of our population is fully vaccinated. So what we’re targeting now is to get over 60%, 2.5 million people fully vaccinated by the end of July, and that’s where we need to be.”
Speaking on the same programme, Reid says that currently, Ireland has administered 2.7 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
According to Reid, in the last week over 280,000 vaccines were administered and he estimates that there will be over 300,000 administered in the coming week.
“I think progress for us is quite strong, and we will continue down through the ages,” said Reid.
Reid says that vaccine supplies from both Pfizer and Moderna continue to be reliable, but says that due to the unpredictability of the J&J jab deliveries in June “it’s really hard to give actual fair commitments”.
Currently, Reid says that between 95% and 96% of all vaccines delivered being administered in the same week.
Updates on the number of people vaccinated within each cohort were also provided, with Reid saying that almost 100% of people over 80 have accepted a vaccination.
96% of those aged between 70 and 79 have also been vaccinated, with 90% of those between 60 and 69 taking a jab, according to Reid.
When asked about the progress on restoring systems after the cyber attack on the HSE, Reid said that there had been “really good progress” in the last 72 hours, with more support systems for patients back up and running.
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Systems for radiotherapy, oncology, radiology and cancer are now back up and running, with some patient administration systems also back.
“This is going to be continued slow progress while we get the systems up, it does take time for the services to come up,” said Reid, saying that there are a total of over 2000 systems that need to be brought back safely.
The HSE is currently prioritising Tusla systems to be brought back online next week, alongside endoscopy and some community systems.
Varadkar confirmed that while the June reopening will definitely be going ahead, the government will continue to monitor the epidemiological situation as the country continues to reopen before making a final decision on the July reopening.
“At the end of June we will assess the epidemiological situation again before giving the final green light, if you’d like, for July,” said Varadkar, saying that the government will be examining cases, variants of concern, the progress of the vaccination programme and hospital capacity before making a decision.