Thursday, 18 February 2021
Covid-19 (Drug and Alcohol Services, and Homelessness): Statements
Mary Butler (Waterford, Fianna Fail)
I thank the Deputy for his questions. I have met Family Carers Ireland and healthcare workers. We must consider the situation as it stands. Approximately 300,000 vaccine doses have entered the country and we had allocated 272,000 of them as of last night. We must keep a small buffer of approximately 20,000 every week so that the person who needs a second dose within 28 days can get it. If the supply was distorted for a week, we would need that buffer.
Unfortunately, 4,036 people have lost their lives, of whom 93% were over 65 years of age.
To date, the group of vulnerable people has included our older generation and family members living in nursing homes and this prioritisation of older people has been correct. The Minister, Deputy Stephen Donnelly, said in the Dáil last week that he has asked the National Immunisation Advisory Committee to look at the prioritisation again with regard to a large cohort of various groups. It will make some recommendations in the next two days.