Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has said that delays in supply of the Janssen vaccine raise serious questions for safe re-openings in July.
He welcomed the fact that 50% of the adult population will have their first dose by the end of the month but expressed concern that the 80% target for the end of June will not be met.
Teachta Cullinane said:
“The delays in supply of the Janssen vaccine are cause for serious concern.
“It raises questions about Government targets and the possibility for safe re-openings in July.
“High levels of vaccination are needed to keep community transmission down as social contacts increase.
“Delays to the vaccine rollout, especially the one-dose Janssen vaccine, put the safety of re-openings in July at risk.
“The drop from 470,000 single-dose vaccines to half or as low as 60,000 will significantly delay the full vaccination of up to 10% of the adult population.
“There are also reductions in expected AstraZeneca deliveries.
“It is welcome news that 50% of the adult population will have their first dose by the end of the month.
“The concern now is that the 80% first dose target will not be met and the Minister is now trying to change the narrative.
“When I put the targets to the HSE in the Health Committee, they made it clear that the 80% first dose target was a Government target.
“The Taoiseach not only stood over that but doubled down on it since.
“Government re-opening plans are heavily contingent on high levels to vaccination being reached to avoid a surge in cases.
“There is now a real concern that substantial problems on the supply side could delay or derail re-opening plans.”