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Where are we in race to vaccinate, and have any side-effects been noted?


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Public Health Nurse Mary Paula Linehan was the first person from CHO 7 to be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine

Public Health Nurse Mary Paula Linehan was the first person from CHO 7 to be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine

Public Health Nurse Mary Paula Linehan was the first person from CHO 7 to be vaccinated with the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine

Hospitals are full, new and more infectious variants of coronavirus are stalking us and there is no clear end to lockdown in sight.

It's no wonder the only boost to the spirits is the Covid-19 vaccine - it's just that there are not enough jabs to go around yet.

So where are we in the race to vaccinate?

First doses

The roll-out is still in the first dose stage. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two shots.

According to the HSE, 133,000 vaccines will have been distributed by this weekend. Figures released this week said 77,303 people were inoculated and one in 10 was in long-term care.

The majority are frontline healthcare workers although it is unclear how hospitals are being prioritised.

All long-term care facilities were to have received a first dose by tomorrow week.

Outbreaks

Long-term care facilities have been hit by outbreaks in the third wave and vaccinations have been carried out on residents and staff in some on people who were not infected.

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Nursing Homes Ireland said every vaccination in a home is absolutely vital because the people there are so susceptible to the virus.

The over-65 cohort are the only group who have not seen a fall in infections in recent days. They are most at risk of illness and death.

Freeing up vaccines

The decision to extend the gap between the first and second dose of the Pfizer vaccine from 21 days to 28 days will free up around a week's supply. The first dose provides a limited shield but the two doses are needed to have 95pc protection.

Slow down

Pfizer feared the slow down in deliveries would extend from later this month into early February.

However, it was confirmed later it is limited to next week.

It now appears it will have a modest impact on the plan to have 700,000 people vaccinated by the end March.

The hope is that the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine will be approved at the end of the month and as this is easier to handle could be administered by GPs.

Side effects

The HPRA said the small number of reported adverse reactions to the vaccine so far have not raised concern.

They are consistent with the known safety profile of the vaccine.

Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland


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