Thursday, 1 April 2021
Department of Health
294. To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which Ireland and other European Union member states can rely on the delivery of adequate supplies of Covid-19 vaccines to meet their urgent requirements and to ensure that contract deficiencies are replenished without delay in order to meet urgent health targets in respect of Covid-19; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [17653/21]
359. To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which efforts are being made to ensure the acquisition of the number of Covid-19 vaccines initially indicated with a view to ensuring that targets indicated can be met; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18008/21]
360. To ask the Minister for Health the extent to which he expects targets in respect of Covid-19 vaccination to be met in the next two months; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [18009/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 294, 359 and 360 together.
Ireland is participating in an EU Procurement process with a view to accessing a portfolio of candidate vaccines against COVID-19 which are being negotiated with vaccine manufacturers by the Commission acting on behalf of Member States. Emergency Support Instrument (ESI) funding has been leveraged by the Commission to facilitate its negotiations with vaccine manufacturers, including with regard to production costs and securing a reduced per dose cost for Member States.
This process has provided Ireland with access to vaccines (at a reduced cost) that it would find it difficult to access otherwise within a year after the declaration of a Public Health Emergency of International Concern by the WHO. Four of the vaccines in the EU portfolio have already been awarded Conditional Marketing Authorisation (CMA) by the Commission.
Ireland supports efforts made by the Commission to safeguard the production and delivery of doses of vaccine in the quantities agreed with vaccine suppliers and to ensure that up-front funding provided through ESI has been properly used.