Vaccine Update: Government misses Q1 vaccination target by 384,000

The Government has missed its target of administering 1,250,000 vaccines by the end of March by 384,540. The total number of vaccines that had been administered, as of the 31st of March, was 865,460. The Government has blamed this on unforeseen supply issues – HSE figures show that, as of Sunday the 28th of March, we had received 950,430 vaccines.

Of the 865,460 doses administered 619,003 of those were 1st doses, and 246,457 were 2nd doses. The average number of doses administered per day, over the last seven days, is now 18,590.

The integrity of the vaccination programme has been called into question after a Daily Mail investigation has shown that the staff vaccination booking system used by the HSE was “abused”. The booking system did not ask those who used it to show that they were employees of the HSE, and verification was not sought at any later point, meaning that anyone with a link to the portal could have used it get vaccinated at the same time as front-line medical staff. The HSE told the Daily Mail that it did not know the occupation of 25% of those it had vaccinated as part of Cohort 2.

This on top of widespread reports that substantial numbers of non-frontline staff within the HSE have been receiving vaccinations.

239,737 first doses have currently been administered to Cohort 2, “frontline healthcare workers” – a number substantially higher than the total estimated number worked in the sector.

Some of that number may be HSE staff who simply failed to list their occupation, but similarly it is possible that some of those who told the HSE they worked in particular occupations may simply have lied.

The Beacon Hospital was recently removed from the vaccination programme after questions were raised about 20 vaccines it administered to schoolteachers after a separate HSE blunder caused hundreds of people to be double booked for vaccination appointments. Due to the blunder 200 people failed to appear for their vaccination appointments in the Beacon.


Monday the 15th of February saw GPs begin to administer vaccines to people aged 85 and older, who are part of “Cohort 3” in the Government’s vaccination schedule. The CSO estimates that there are 490,000 people to be vaccinated in Cohort 3, which also includes those 70 and older who are not in long-term residential care.  241,188 of these had received their first dose as of the 31st of March.

32,856 vaccines have been administered to people in Cohort 4 as of the 31st of March. Cohort 4 consists of those “Aged 16-69 at Very High Risk.”

Daily reporting of vaccinating numbers only goes back to the 3rd of February, meaning that the 9th of February is the earliest day from which we can show total doses administered over a seven-day period. On the 9th of February, the daily average number of doses administered was 5,642, with 39,495 doses having been administered between the 3rd and the 9th.

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