Wednesday, 3 March 2021

Questions (805)

Thomas Pringle

Question:

805. Deputy Thomas Pringle asked the Minister for Health if Ireland will be participating in the World Health Organisation co-led COVAX scheme; if not, the reason; if so, the number of vaccines Ireland is committing to; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [11340/21]

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Written answers (Question to Health)

Ireland is participating in a Procurement Exercise being operated by the European Commission on behalf of Member States to procure suitable, safe and effective vaccines, in sufficient quantities, to combat COVID-19.

Three vaccines have been authorised by the EU, and a number of vaccine candidates are still to be fully assessed. Ireland fully supports efforts by the international community, including as an EU Member State, to ensure fair and equitable access to vaccines for all. If, and when, it is determined that Ireland has an excess of vaccine doses to successfully achieve the goals of the vaccination strategy, Ireland will utilise the sharing mechanisms available through the EU procurement structure. It is expected that COVAX will be central to this sharing mechanism. As significant uncertainty remains around the vaccination environment in Europe, it is too early to quantify or schedule the potential sharing of vaccines.

Question No. 806 answered with Question No. 790.