10 Million extra Pfizer vaccines to be delivered to the EU in Q2

10 million Pfizer vaccines that were originally planned for the second half of the year will now be arriving in quarter 2. Ireland is set to receive approximately 110,000 of those doses.

Some welcome news this morning with the EU confirming that Pfizer are accelerating the delivery of 10 million doses of its Covid-19 vaccine for quarter 2 of this year.

In a statement from the EU, the President of the EU Commission Ursula von der Leyen said “I know how critical Quarter 2 is for the roll-out of our vaccination strategies in the Member States. These accelerated 10 million doses will bring the total doses of BioNTech-Pfizer in Quarter 2 up to over 200 million.”

“This is very good news. It gives Member States room to manoeuvre and possibly fill gaps in deliveries.”

Ireland is set to receive around 110,000 of the 10 million extra doses that the EU has secured which will no doubt come as a welcome surprise to those in charge of the vaccine rollout.

Speaking to the Irish Independent over the weekend, Professor Brian MacCraith who chairs the Covid-19 Vaccine Task Force gave these figures in terms of the vaccine rollout:

  • Ireland expects to get delivery shipment of 175,000 to 200,000 Covid-19 vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca – around March 31.
  • The shipment will be followed up by more big deliveries that will “ramp up” through April, May and June, delivering an average of 1m doses every month.
  • Three million adults are to be offered a first shot of vaccine by the end of June which is around 80% of the adult population of 3.75m in the Republic of Ireland.

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Stripe to create over 1000 new jobs in Ireland after $600 million investment

The online payments giant, founded by Irish brothers Patrick and John Collison is now valued at $95 billion after it secured an additional $600 million (€502 million) in investment.

The Irish State’s sovereign wealth fund called the Ireland Strategic Investment Fund (ISIF) was among the investors in Stripe. The investment fund is managed by the National Treasury Management Agency (NTMA).

Speaking after announcing the creation of over 1000 new jobs in Ireland, Stripe’s president John Collison said “We’re investing a ton more in Europe this year, particularly in Ireland”

“Ireland is now a leading tech capital of Europe, with great talent and companies emerging all the time, we’re keen to help cement that position.”

Stripe currently employs over 300 staff in it’s Dublin office which also acts as its international headquarters. Globally, they have over 3,000 staff across 14 different offices.

Commenting on the announcement of the new jobs Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Leo Varadkar said “This is fantastic news on the jobs front and the start of a really welcome partnership between the Irish state and Stripe,”

“Over 1,000 new jobs will be created over the next 5 years. These are really good, well-paid, professional jobs and will be a real boost to the economy.”

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2200+ Healthcare staff vaccinated in Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit

Some 2200 healthcare staff have received the Covid-19 vaccine at the vaccination centre in Galway Racecourse in Ballybrit.

It is a remarkable achievement given the vaccination centre has only been operational for one full week.

Operations in the centre only began last Thursday with the rolling out of the Covid-19 vaccine to healthcare staff across Galway.

The whole process of entering the facility, getting the vaccine and leaving the facility takes approximately 20 minutes.

It really shows the capabilities at the disposal of the health service when greater amounts of stock of the Covid-19 vaccine become available in the future. The rapid speed at which they can be administered will no doubt offer great hope for the months ahead.

The HSE missed its target of 100,000 Covid-19 vaccinations last week after there was a delay in the delivering of around 20,000 AstraZeneca vaccines. The Tanaiste Leo Varadkar has since confirmed that those doses will be received in the coming weeks and the HSE will be capable of making up for lost time by the end of the month.

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Covid-19 in Ireland: The Path Ahead

The Government has announced its new ‘Living with Covid-19’ plan, with clarity being brought on the phased reopening of the education sector, vaccination rollout and the path out of lockdown.

Up he stepped to the podium, once again ready to deliver an address to the whole country. A weary nation awaited, praying Taoiseach Micheal Martin had something to say for them to cling onto for the months ahead.

By the end of his speech, work from home parents rejoiced, students had dates in the diaries for their return to school to once again be reunited with their friends and the whole country was offered a strong glimmer of hope in the form of the vaccination roll-out.

Following his address to the nation, the full plan was published and while Level 5 public health restrictions will remain in place until 5 April, the education sector will begin to open up in the mean time. Here’s what is in the new Living With Covid-19 Plan:

Education

From Monday 1 March, junior infants, senior infants, first and second class in primary’s school will return.

Leaving Cert students in sixth year in secondary schools will also return on this date.

Two weeks later, on 15 March, all primary school children will return. Fifth year students in secondary school are also expected to return at this point.

The remainder of secondary school students will return after the Easter holidays all going to plan.

Vaccination Rollout

1.25 million doses of Covid-19 Vaccines will be administered by the end of March.

On average, more than 1 million doses will be administered in the months of April, May and June.

By the end of April, 47% of people over the age of 18 will have received at least their first dose of the vaccine.

By the end of May, up to 64% of people over the age of 18 will have received their first dose.

By the end of June, some 82% of adults will have received at least one dose and around 60% of adults will be fully vaccinated.

Childcare

From Monday 8 March, Early Childhood Care and Education programme will reopen. 

On the 29 March, early learning and care will reopen. School-age childcare services will also reopen on this date.

After 5 April

The easing of restrictions will be considered on 5 April if community transmission of the virus, daily cases, covid-19 hospital numbers reach acceptable levels. With this taken in to account together with the vaccine rollout some restrictions that may be eased on that date include:

  • Extending the 5km limit that is currently in place
  • Removing restrictions on some outdoor activities and allowing mixing with 1 other household.
  • Return of construction and some sports.

Any further easing of restrictions after 5 April will need a further three to four week period to allow for assessment of the impact of changes, the plan outlines. 

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