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Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine approval represents encouraging progress in battle against Covid-19 - David Cullinane TD

21 December, 2020 - by David Cullinane TD

Sinn Féin spokesperson on Health David Cullinane TD has welcomed the recommendation by the European Medicines Agency to recommend the approval of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine and has said it represents encouraging progress in the battle against Covid-19.

Teachta Cullinane said:

"The recommendation today to approve the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine for use across the European Union is a very encouraging development.

"It represents progress in the science-led battle against Covid-19.

"This announcement makes it all the more essential that the plan for rolling out the vaccine is fleshed out and finalised in the coming weeks.

"A number of weeks ago, I published a plan for rolling out the vaccine and what we needed to see to make this a success.

"When the Health Committee met last week to review the government's plan, we came away with more questions than answers.

"Reports over the weekend cast further uncertainty on the State's ability to roll out the vaccine and will place considerable additional pressure on staff who have been working tirelessly to date.

"The next steps need to be accelerated - we need to know how many staff will be needed, how many locations will be used and how we are going to train enough vaccinators.

"Now that this vaccine has been approved, and with others likely to follow soon, stocks of the vaccine will begin to arrive and production will be accelerated.

"We need to know when and over how long we will receive our share of the vaccine - some 2.2 million doses.

"It is important that everyone continues to adhere to public health advice to keep case levels as low as possible until there is high vaccine uptake."

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