Coronavirus: Moderna vaccine to be used ‘immediately’ in Ireland

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has signed the authorisation for use of the Moderna vaccine by Irish vaccinators, effective immediately.

It comes just a day after the first delivery arrived in Ireland.

Minister Donnelly said he was ‘delighted’ to have approved the Moderna authorisation.

He added that he was looking forward to signing the same for the AstraZeneca vaccine “soon”.

Delighted to have just signed the authorisation for use of Moderna by our vaccinators, effective immediately. Looking forward to signing the same for Astra Zeneca soon. 👍#Holdfirm

— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) January 13, 2021

Minister Donnelly has called for an acceleration of the timeline for approval of AstraZeneca vaccine.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA) has received an application for a conditional marketing authorisation of the drug.

It said an assessment will proceed “under an accelerated timeline”, with hopes that an opinion could be issued by January 29th.

It added that this is possible because the EMA has already reviewed some data on the vaccine during a rolling review.

Speaking earlier on The Pat Kenny Show, Minister Donnelly said everyone who lives or works in a nursing home should get at least their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by Sunday week.

Some 70,000 healthcare workers will also have received their first jab by that date.

He also said everyone over the age of 70 is set to have received their first dose of the vaccine by the end of March, with most also getting their second dose by that date.

The vaccine programme has been ramping up in recent weeks.

The Government is currently working to vaccinate 50,000 people a week, and that will increase alongside supplies.

Main image: A nurse prepares the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a mass vaccination clinic in the US state of Illinois. Picture by: Meg Mclaughlin/Zuma Press/PA Images