David McWilliams: This St Patrick’s Day, Ireland should do a vaccine deal with the US

Other countries have put the welfare of citizens first and secured alternative vaccines

A shipment of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine arrives at Northwell Health South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, US. Photograph: Johnny Milano/Bloomberg

A shipment of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine arrives at Northwell Health South Shore University Hospital in Bay Shore, New York, US. Photograph: Johnny Milano/Bloomberg

This St Patrick’s Day, the Taoiseach should ask US president Joe Biden for help. What about asking him for four million vaccines? In a sign of solidarity with its oldest ally and the homeland of more than 30 million Irish-Americans, the US could exercise its ample soft-power and help a friend in need.

Vaccines save lives, and saving citizens’ lives is the primary responsibility of any state. We can’t get our hands on enough vaccines via the EU’s centralised scheme, but we have the option to look elsewhere.

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