Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the end it was too much’
Suicide prevention: ‘My brother faced stigma, red tape, long waiting times, under-resourced hospitals. In the...

Amanda Cassidy

This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city living
This Leeson St home on sale for €2 million is family-friendly but perfect for city...

Megan Burns

You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress
You will not believe how they made THAT Zendaya Balmain dress

Lauren Heskin

If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful Irish feature
If you only see one film in the cinema this year, make it this powerful...

Meg Walker

Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’
Postpartum Psychosis: ‘It hit me completely out of the blue’

Amanda Cassidy

4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity
4 Irish female bosses on getting organised, confidence and the importance of creativity

Shayna Sappington

Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe
Two beauty industry stalwarts have teamed up to save cruelty-free cosmetics in Europe

Sarah Finnan

Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea
Why negotiating a ‘jobbymoon’ before you start your new job is actually a great idea

Erin Lindsay

Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor
Skin Proud is Glossier’s new 100% vegan and cruelty-free competitor

Sarah Finnan

The dos and don’ts of supporting someone who might be suicidal
The dos and don’ts of supporting someone who might be suicidal

Erin Lindsay

Image / Agenda / Breaking Stories

Ireland’s vaccine delay: What exactly is going on?


by Lauren Heskin
18th Jan 2021

Vaccine and syringe injection. Doctor hand with syringe. Vaccination of people for prevention, immunization and treatment from virus infection. Medicine, flu shot, test with needle. Vector

blank

There’s been a lot of chat about a vaccine delay this week. Government announced a shortfall in the next delivery of the Pfizer vaccine, hospitals are complaining that vaccines never arrived and the UK have pushed out the second dose of the vaccine from three weeks to three months. So what’s going on?


The government announced on Friday that there would be a short-term delay in delivery of the Pfizer vaccine. Tánaiste Leo Vradkar said that due to upgrades at the Pfizer plant, Ireland will receive 36,075 doses this week rather than the expected 43,875. 

Meanwhile, the government also said that nursing homes will now be prioritised, despite slow roll-outs to some hospitals. Dun Laoghaire hospital St Michael’s said yesterday that three shipments of vaccines promised have yet to arrive at the hospital and they were told not to expect any for another week or two. On Friday, Nenagh hospital released a video fo staff begging Taoiseach and the Minister for Health to sanction the rollout of the vaccine there.

In the UK, second doses for the vaccine are being pushed out from the recommended 21 days to 12 weeks. 

Vaccine Delay

Do we have a shortage? Well yes and no. While Ireland (and the rest of Europe) will receive a smaller batch of Pfizer vaccines than expected this week,  production will return to normal next week. The upgrades to the plant will also allow the Belgian plant, which serves Europe’s vaccine quota, to increase production from 1.3 billion doses per year to two billion doses by mid-February. This means the reduced capacity this week is a short-term delay for a medium-term gain.

This weekend also saw almost all of the nation’s GPs receive their first dose of the vaccine, which is important as the EU looks set to approve the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine by the end of the month. This vaccine does not require the sub-zero storage temperatures needed by the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines and therefore can be more easily distributed across the country for GPs to administer. 

The government expects the addition of the AstraZeneca vaccine will enable weekly vaccinations to increase for the current 40,000 to 100,000 in February. In fact, in terms of EU distribution, Ireland actually scores quite highly. As of January 13, Demark was the only EU country to have distributed more vaccines than Ireland. 

This will continue to ramp up as more vaccines come on the market and Government are estimating that everyone will have received their first dose by September 2021.

And the UK?

They began by taking the risk on the Pfizer vaccine and emergency approving back in December, which required less proof of safety. It paid off, with a number of countries following suit and allowed the UK to get the jump on vaccinations.

Now, they’re deciding to take on another risk by delaying the second dose of the vaccine from three weeks to 12 weeks. The UK has decided to prioritise giving everyone one dose and some percentage of immunity before focusing on the second dose.

The risk is that there is no clinical trial data on how immunity from the first dose will last beyond the prescribed 21 days and the makers of both vaccines have staunchly opposed the move. It’s a wait-and-see game – one that they won last time.

Featured image: Getty


Read more: Working parents without access to childcare are eligible for PUP

Read more: Frontline healthcare workers in Ireland are asking for their citizenship to be fast-tracked

Read more: Long Covid: ‘I never expected chronic fatigue and its impact on my family’

Also Read

blank
BUSINESS
‘We have a real opportunity for change’: Marie O’Donoghue on the future of work and how to get ready

Covid has fundamentally changed how we work and no one is better positioned to explain how we should adapt than...

By IMAGE

blank
BREAKING STORIES
‘I did it for me’: Simone Biles triumphantly takes Bronze at Tokyo Olympics

US gymnast Simone Biles has taken a bronze medal in the Tokyo Olympics – and it might be the most...

By Jennifer McShane

Nadia’s mother arrived on O’Connell Street in 1994 with Nadia in tow. She was just “four or five” years old.
premium IMAGE WRITES, REAL-LIFE STORIES
Nadia Adan’s incredible story is the stuff of film scripts

Nadia Adan sees value in everything. In fact, it’s her job; selling high-end cars and antiques, the pioneering 31-year-old is...

By Kate Demolder

Freelance
premium BUSINESS, REAL-LIFE STORIES
Freelance life: ‘I love what I do, but finances are always a massive worry’

With the number of people opting to take freelance work on the rise, Jennifer McShane spoke to four women about the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
PARENTHOOD
In praise of Amber Heard becoming a mum ‘on her own terms’

Too often, women are told they must have certain things ticked off before they can have children. Heard’s baby announcement...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
BUSINESS
What to do when your boss is a bully

How to handle a bullying bossWhen we think of bullies, many might think of school days. But, unfortunately, school bullies...

By Colette Sexton

blank
BUSINESS
COACHING: One-to-one coaching with our career coach

Stuck in a career rut? Let our career coach Sinead Brady help with a members-exclusive coaching session.   The IMAGE...

By IMAGE