According to Dr Nuala O’ Connor, “There could be a nine-month wait before everyone in Ireland is vaccinated”.
The Pfizer/BioNTech coronavirus vaccine is likely to be approved by European health authorities by the end of the month, with the most vulnerable due to receive the jab in January.
However in her point of view, the vaccine is one of the many tools that will help stop the spread of the virus, but even with the January roll-out, precautions need to stay in place.
Dr O’ Connor further added in her statement to the Irish mirror “It’s going to be quite some time before a sufficient amount of the population has been vaccinated.”
Dr concluded that “The virus is still out there, we didn’t get the numbers down low enough.” With the lockdown lifted we have seen only a slight decrease in the number of cases, this is not what the government was hoping for. With the daily number of cases still resting in the mid-hundred category every day, will Ireland be able to roll out the vaccine on time? and who all will get it?
Meanwhile, proposals for the Government’s plan for the vaccine rollout will go before the Cabinet on Tuesday. The report will set out a national strategy for the procurement, distribution, and delivery of a Covid-19 vaccine, including the logistics of how the doses will be stored, transported and administered. Tuesday’s report from the high-level vaccine task force will set out the role that doctors, pharmacists and public health nurses will play. It is expected that recently retired qualified people could be re-employed.
When will you get vaccinated?
The government has announced that the vaccine will be free of charge for everyone in Ireland and will not be procured privately by any facility.
As is expected the elderly care home residents and individuals over the age of 65 will be the first in line, followed by the healthcare workers who are directly treating patients.
In the prioritisation list announced by the government last week, people aged 18-64 with certain medical conditions are seventh out of the 15 categories.
Followed by individuals aged 18-64 years living working in crowded accommodation where self-isolation and social distancing is difficult to maintain with a moral reason being sighted. Next in line are people aged 55-64 who are medically healthy at the 12th position and people aged between 18-54 who are in the 14th position.
Surprising children and pregnant individuals are at the very end of the list, the reason being the lack of sufficient evidence of the vaccines’ side effect on the said groups according to the HSE. Officials further added that “Around 2.4 million people will have to be vaccinated before it can be administered to pregnant people and children”.
The government has further stated that these two groups cannot be put at risk as far as the side effect of the new drugs are considered as there is just not enough research done on the said sections. while new studies are already underway the government cannot take any risk when it comes to these two categories.
While the most vulnerable citizens will receive the vaccine as soon as it is out, it is still unclear how long it will take for the rest of the population to get vaccinated and where does the international community stand in terms of getting the vaccine?.
While there is much speculation, we don’t have all the answers, the only thing that is clear is that the new year will definitely bring in new hope for us winning the year-long battle against 21st century’s biggest catastrophe.