Ireland could provide COVID-19 vaccine to everyone by August

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Outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic in Galway

DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ireland may be able to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in the country who wants one by August in a "fairly positive scenario", a senior official tasked with vaccine roll-out said on Tuesday.

While it is impossible to be precise, "one fairly positive scenario that we'd be looking at for the month of August would be over 2 million doses of vaccine arriving", the chair of the government's COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force, Brian MacCraith, told RTE radio.

"If all things come to pass that are in that model in terms of expected approval dates and expected delivery schedules, one would be looking at that stage of being very close or at the point of closing out the vaccination of as much of the population of Ireland that want to receive vaccines," he said.

MacCraith said this was based on modelling that excluded people under the age of 18 and pregnant women, who are not allowed to take the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine, and the fact that a minority of the population are likely to refuse vaccination.

Ireland is due to administer its first COVID-19 vaccines on Tuesday at four hospitals across the country.

(Reporting by Conor Humphries, editing by Ed Osmond)