Taoiseach Martin: Ireland vaccination works well although UK puts its people first
The Taoiseach said that Level Five restrictions continued to have an impact on curbing the spread of the virus said they will continue to do so in the coming weeks.
"The good news its having an impact. And the impact can be seen on reducing numbers [of cases], reducing hospitalisations and reducing the numbers in intensive care.
"As we rollout the vaccine programme the evidence now is that the vaccine is having a good impact in terms of reducing mortality and severe illness."
Martin said that a number of areas are being examined in the coming weeks regarding lifting restrictions including rules around outdoors sports but said that the government will be better placed to make a call before the lockdown is due to expire on April 5
He said: "We'll take advice from NPHET at that stage and it will depend on where the numbers are but we are making progress as a country.
"We will be in a better position before the 5th of April to make informed decisions.
Martin admitted that concerns still remain over vaccine supply adding that it was unlikely that Ireland will be given any possible surplus jabs from the UK unless their population was fully inoculated.
"There is concern across Europe in terms of supply particularly in relation to the AstraZeneca supply position. That said we are still doing well vaccinating over 85s and over 80 and starting this week those with underlying conditions."
"I think the vaccine supply will pick up significantly in quarter two and more vaccines coming on stream with the ones we already have will also help."
"The British Prime Minister has made it clear to me that obviously his first priority is to vaccinate his people. It would be very helpful to Ireland if situation arose but right now he has to concentrate on vaccinating his own people and until then he won't be in a position to give vaccines to anybody." ■