The chief of the Health Service Executive (HSE) said staff are working “night and day” to ensure mass vaccination centres are ready for a surge in Covid-19 vaccine supplies.
Paul Reid said there are currently 6,500 people trained in the vaccination programme.
A national recruitment campaign is currently underway to bring in more staff, ahead of a significant ramp-up in supply.
The HSE chief executive said the rollout is based on supply, and that every vaccine is being delivered.
Around 100,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines are expected to be delivered this week – the highest number to date.
Million a month
The Department of Health said that plans are being put in place to vaccinate one million people a month from April.
“We have put a lot of preparation plans in place, both in terms of the various locations that we have and the significant recruitment campaign,” Mr Reid told RTÉ.
The Government aims to have administered first doses to 40 per cent of people over the age of 18 by the end of April, 64 per cent by the end of May and up to 82 per cent of adults by the end of June.
Some 37 vaccination centres are to be set up around the country, with an aim of having one in every county.
As of February 22nd, 359,616 doses of #COVID19 vaccine have been administered in Ireland:
•226,291 people have received their first dose
•133,325 people have received their second dose
— Department of Health (@roinnslainte) February 25, 2021
Mr Reid said on Friday that there has been a ramping up of resources to get the vaccination centres ready.
“We have seen the use of vaccination centres, like the use of the Helix last week in DCU with more than 1,000 vaccinations by 100 GPs.
“Up to 5,000 people are being vaccinated a day in these centres.
“We have been working night and day to put these preparations in place, this is a great motivator for us in the healthcare teams and staff who are working on something really positive – everyone has galvanised behind this.
“To date, we are in an exciting place in vaccinating the over-70s.”
All the indicators are going at the right direction, but it is still at a high base
Mr Reid also urged the public to continue following the Level 5 restrictions.
Location of Covid-19 mass vaccination centre a sur…
“People have made huge sacrifices, particularly since December and we don’t want to lose the progress we have made,” he added.
“All the indicators are going at the right direction, but it is still at a high base.”
Mr Reid said that one in four close contacts are testing positive for Covid-19. There are currently 574 patients in hospital with Covid-19, with 136 people in ICU.