Dáil debates

Tuesday, 14 December 2021

Ceisteanna ó Cheannairí - Leaders' Questions


2:10 pm

Photo of Micheál MartinMicheál Martin (Taoiseach, Department of An Taoiseach; Cork South Central, Fianna Fail) | Oireachtas source

I was taken somewhat by what was said yesterday in Stormont by Deputy McDonald's colleague, the deputy First Minister, Michelle O'Neill. She said, "If ever there was a time for a united front on the public health message, it's today, because we are facing into a very, very difficult period in the weeks ahead". I make this general point across the House. It is a fair comment.

That said, with regard to a number of points Deputy McDonald has raised, there is no issue with the Moderna vaccine. It is not being rushed out. I took Moderna myself on Friday. I waited in a line. The mood was good. People spoke to each other. Many people are waiting in line and are happy to get the booster vaccine. There needs to be balance and perspective in the commentary on this. Thousands of vaccinations were done last week. Two days were lost because of Storm Barra. The highest number was last Thursday with 43,000 doses administered. It is more complex than the first campaign. The interval date was one issue and it is also because of doing multiple age cohorts together. GPs, pharmacists and vaccination centres are vaccinating the same patient cohorts at the same time. It is being done differently from the first phase. This has brought an additional layer of complexity. Genuinely, across the country-----


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