Ireland is to donate at least one million vaccines

Ireland’s total contribution to COVAX is €7 million in 2021

Ireland will donate at least one million COVID-19 vaccines.

The donation will be made to the COVAX programme, co-led by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi and the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The aim of the programme is to accelerate the development and manufacture of COVID-19 vaccines, and to guarantee fair and equitable access for every country in the world.

Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly and the Minister for Foreign Affairs, Simon Coveney TD, made the announcement.

Minister Donnelly said: “Universal and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines and treatments is a priority for Ireland and for the European Union. As the current phase of Ireland’s vaccination programme nears completion, it is important for Ireland to demonstrate solidarity with developing countries during this global pandemic. I am very pleased therefore to announce that Ireland will contribute 1 million Covid-19 vaccines to the COVAX global vaccine initiative.”

The donation represents the first step in Ireland's commitment to COVAX and vaccine donation, with other possibilities for vaccine sharing to help those most in need likely to arise later in the year.

Minister for Foreign Affairs and Defence Simon Coveney added: “I am delighted that the Government has made this decision to share surplus vaccines. It is a mark of Ireland’s solidarity with developing countries during this truly global crisis. To keep ourselves safe, we must ensure everyone is protected from COVID-19. This virus does not respect international borders, as we have learned.”

To ensure that the vaccination rollouts in recipient countries are well-managed and well-resourced, the Department has also allocated an additional €3 million to COVAX before the end of the year.

This brings Ireland’s total contribution to COVAX to €7 million in 2021, part of Ireland’s contribution to Global Health of over €100 million.