Republic of Ireland news

Republic due to roll-out coronavirus vaccination programme in the new year

The Republic is due to roll out its coronavirus vaccination programme in the new year

A CORONAVIRUS vaccination programme is likely to be rolled out across the Republic in the new year.

Pfizer/BioNTech sought market authorisation for their Covid-19 vaccine on Tuesday from the European Medical Agency (EMA), the taoiseach said yesterday.

The Dáil heard that the EMA will assess the vaccine by December 29.

A vaccine can only be rolled out in a European Union country if it is approved by the EMA.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin said that the head of EMA briefed EU health ministers yesterday morning.

He told the Dáil that infrastructure to store the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine at -70C was already being set up in the Republic.

He said this equipment will be commissioned by the middle of next week.

Mr Martin said the EMA is aiming to assess market authorisation for the Moderna vaccine in "early January".

On Tuesday, the Irish cabinet approved the advance purchase of 875,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

The doses are due to be delivered early in the new year, as soon as there is EMA approval.

The Republic is already signed up to four other vaccines.

The UK yesterday became the first country in the world to approve a Covid-19 vaccine - Pfizer/BioNTech's drug.

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Republic of Ireland news