Deliveries of Johnson & Johnson vaccine ‘near worst-case estimates’

State confirms 348 cases of Covid-19, with 13 people in ICU and 41 in hospital with disease

The delivery of a further 70,000 doses is expected next month, after which use of this vaccine is being phased out. File photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The delivery of a further 70,000 doses is expected next month, after which use of this vaccine is being phased out. File photograph: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

 

Deliveries of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine for June are “near worst-case estimates”, according to officials at the Health Service Executive (HSE).

Less than 80,000 doses of the one-shot vaccine have been delivered to Ireland this month, HSE chief executive Paul Reid has said.

It had originally been anticipated that 470,000 doses of the vaccine would be supplied, but in late May the HSE warned that deliveries would range between a best-case scenario of 235,000 doses and a worst-case of 60,000, based on information from the company.

Mr Reid told the Oireachtas health committee on Wednesday less than 80,000 doses are being delivered this month. The delivery of a further 70,000 doses is expected next month, after which use of this vaccine is being phased out in the overall rollout.

The vaccine is being administered to people aged over 50 at 750 pharmacies as part of the latest extension of the vaccine rollout. Early indications were of a “reasonable” take-up in pharmacies, he said. About 150,000 people in their 50s have yet to take up the offer of a vaccine.

Mr Reid said 3.7 million Covid-19 vaccine doses have now been administered.

Ireland is at peak vaccine supply, the committee was told, with more than 340,000 vaccines administered last week and 300,000 planned for this week.

Mr Reid forecast “another couple of weeks of over 300,000” vaccines administered into July.

Later on Wednesday, the Department of Health reported 348 new cases of Covid-19 in the State, with 13 people in ICU and 41 in hospital with the disease.

Cyberattack

The immediate cost to the HSE of the cyberattack on its IT systems is well over €100 million, according to Mr Reid.

There will be further longer-term clinical and IT costs but these have not yet been estimated, he said.

The immediate costs include the replacement of devices, the upgrading of systems and third-party costs such as the international expertise provided to deal with the ransomware attack.

The service is also updating to Microsoft 365, he said.

Asked about visiting rules for partners of expecting mothers at maternity units, Mr Reid said that, as of last Thursday, 16 out of 19 units were compliant with the national guidelines for visits. Wexford, Kilkenny and Tullamore hospitals were putting in place “workaround solutions” in relation to the rules this week, he said.

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