I propose to take Questions Nos. 376, 383 and 386 to 389, inclusive, together.
The COVID-19 vaccine Allocation Strategy was developed by the National Immunisation Advisory Committee (NIAC) and the Department of Health, endorsed by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET), and approved by Government on 8 December 2020. It sets out a provisional list of groups for vaccination.
The Defence Forces has established vaccine prioritisation which is in line with this national allocation strategy. Initial Vaccination priority is for Defence Force personnel who are providing front line support to the HSE and National Ambulance Service in the national effort to combat COVID 19.
Those personnel already deployed on Peacekeeping duties will be vaccinated on their return in accordance with the Defence Force prioritisation within the national allocation strategy.
Personnel selected for deployment to overseas missions over the coming months will fall into a prioritised grouping, and the intention is that they will be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to deployment, subject to availability of the vaccine which is coordinated through the HSE. In this regard, I am advised that the vaccination of Defence Forces personnel due to deploy to the EU Training Mission in Mali later this month has already commenced.