Minister for Higher Education Simon Harris has said that the Government should consider asking the UK for spare vaccine doses.
It was the job of the Government to maximise the supply of vaccines and to “get them into the arms” of people as quickly as possible, he told RTÉ radio’s Today with Claire Byrne show.
The Government was trying to “level” with the public by providing the “best information” at hand at any time in relation to the delivery of vaccines, he said in response to criticism at delays in the delivery of doses.
It was really important that the Government be transparent and to share information “as we have it.”
AstraZeneca had now appointed a country manager for Ireland, he said and with the anticipated approval of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, there was going to be “a significant ramping up” of the vaccine rollout.
The Minister also said it was important that the lines of communication between the HSE and general practitioners be improved.
The State had pre-ordered 18 million vaccines and Mr Harris expected to see vaccination levels of up to 200,000 to 300,000 per week in May and June.
When asked about when the new Mandatory Quarantine system would commence, the Minister said that the next step would be for the contract with the security company be signed this week and the system would be up and running this month.
"There were many different elements – the hotel, food, testing and security on-site, involving numerous government departments."
Ireland will be the first country in the EU to have such a quarantine system “up and running,” he added.