Wednesday, 28 April 2021
Department of Health
849. To ask the Minister for Health when and the way in which housebound persons will be vaccinated; when housebound persons in County Waterford will be vaccinated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21160/21]
993. To ask the Minister for Health the way eligible persons for the Covid-19 vaccine that are confined to their homes due to illness will receive the vaccine; the time frame and procedure for same; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21705/21]
850. To ask the Minister for Health the way in which persons aged 60 to 69 who would find it difficult to attend a mass vaccination centre such as a person with stage 4 COPD who must carry an oxygen tank will be vaccinated; if they will be vaccinated by a general practitioner or the National Ambulance Service; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21161/21]
973. To ask the Minister for Health if operating procedures will be published for those to be vaccinated in cohorts 4 and 7 setting out details of when and the way persons in those groups will be identified, contacted and vaccinated; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21610/21]
851. To ask the Minister for Health the arrangements in place or that have been considered for procuring second generation and booster Covid-19 vaccines; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [21162/21]
I propose to take Questions Nos. 851 and 855 together.
Ireland is participating in an EU led procurement process, where the Commission has negotiated a range of contractual agreements with various vaccine suppliers and across a range of technologies on behalf of Member States. Ireland has, through its participation in this process, gained access to a broad range of vaccines that it might not otherwise have access to, and at the cost agreed collectively by the EU.
Recently, the Commission has engaged in negotiations with Pfizer / BioNTech with a view to securing a Purchase Agreement for 900m doses of its vaccine on behalf of Member States, with provision for an additional 900m doses, for 2022/2023. Pfizer / BioNTech's vaccine is based upon mRNA technology, providing scope for it to be adjusted to deal with variants of Covid-19. The vaccine could also be used to provide booster shots, where required. The appropriate mix of vaccine technologies to provide boosters and variants is also being considered by the Steering Board, comprised of the Commission and EU Member States, for the EC procurement process.
In conjunction with this, the new European bio-defence preparedness plan against COVID-19 variants called “HERA Incubator” will work with researchers, biotech companies, manufacturers and public authorities in the EU and globally to detect new variants, provide incentives to develop new and adapted vaccines, speed up the approval process for these vaccines, and ensure scaling up of manufacturing capacities.