Government and vaccination programme


Sir, – The UK ambition is for two million people to be vaccinated per week, starting around now.

The Government here projects that 250,000 Irish citizens will be vaccinated by the end of March.

Given that Ireland’s population is about 10 per cent of that of the UK, shouldn’t we be vaccinating about 200,000 people per week, and not 200,000 people in about three months? – Yours, etc,



Dublin 16.

Sir, – The headline reads, “Credibility of Government on the line over Covid-19 surge and slow vaccinations” (Analysis, January 7th).

God bless the optimism of Pat Leahy, who appears to believe, amid all the chaos, that there is within this Government a residue of credibility to lose. – Yours, etc,




Sir, – Pat Leahy states that we have paid “a hell of a price for a meaningful Christmas”.

Does this mean we won’t see a meaningful Cheltenham? – Yours, etc,




Sir, – The Government needs to appoint a Minister with overall responsibility for the vaccination programme and thus ensure the speedy rollout of the vaccine for all our citizens.

At present, there is no one person with sole responsibilty for the vaccination programme. We have had enough of the PR exercises showing the arrival of a few boxes of the vaccine and the various staged photo-opportunities of one-off vaccinations.

Let’s do it now, not months down the road. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 14.

Sir, – I would like to thank Dr Tony Holohan for his daily publication of the Covid figures. It helps keep us on our toes regarding how naughty, or otherwise, we have been. Could he now publish, alongside these statistics, a daily list of the number of vaccinations completed? It would help us sinners, weeping and gnashing as we are, keep tabs on how well they are doing. – Yours, etc,



Co Westmeath.

Sir, – Having worked in a supply chain role for 20-plus years, I find it baffling that basic information relating to the daily Covid vaccinations is not being published by the HSE on a daily or weekly basis.

Sharing the five items listed would remove ambiguity (are low vaccination numbers resulting from supply challenges or a lack of resources?) and frustration (being bombarded with differing numbers and facts from varying political and medical personnel).

1) Total number of people to be vaccinated.

2) Number vaccinated over the last 24 hours (cut-off time needs to be agreed so reporting is consistent, for example noon, this gives the HSE time to collate and publish by 5pm).

3) Total number vaccinated since December 29th, 2020, the date vaccination started.

4) Percentage completed to date.

5) Forecast for deliveries of vaccine numbers into the country for the next 26 weeks.

Failing to share this basic information gives the perception of suppression of information.

Designs and systems should be as simple as possible. Wherever possible, complexity should be avoided in a system as simplicity guarantees the greatest levels of user acceptance and interaction.

Let’s have one single source of truth for the vaccination numbers. – Yours, etc,



Sir, – Your two editorials of January 7th highlight the stark contrast between the ineffective approach of the Government here and the dynamic drive by the British government to vaccinating the two populations to stop Covid-19.

In your first piece, you refer to the vaccination programme in Ireland, and write, “for now it’s a trickle”

In your second editorial, you state that the “NHS hopes to reach more than 13 million people by mid-February”.

Surely the Government here must see that people will tolerate lockdowns if there is a ray of hope that a “Monday to Friday, nine-to-five attitude” will be set aside for an energetic vaccination campaign. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 6.

Sir, – Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly was again less than clear when speaking on RTÉ Morning Ireland on Thursday and as reported in your newspaper (“Hospitals brace for new surge”, News, January 7th). The Minister was asked a simple question. How many people would be vaccinated by the end of March?

Instead of answering this question, he told us that 360,000 Pfizer/BioNTech and a further 110,000 Moderna doses would be received by the end of March, implying 470,000 doses and hopefully more would be in place.

He made no attempt to clarify that both vaccines require two doses to be effective, thereby reducing the number that could be vaccinated to 235,000. Nor did he clarify that receipt of vaccines is not the same as administration of doses to the public. And current performance in administering vaccines would suggest a maximum of 150,000 people will have been vaccinated by the end of March – a far cry from the headline 470,000 figure the Minister has articulated.

The public can have little confidence in the current rollout plan – or those currently advocating for it – until there is a detailed monthly plan showing the daily numbers of vaccines received and administered in every location, along with planned receipts and administration schedules over the next months. – Yours, etc,



Dublin 15.