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Injection of hope Covid-19 vaccine roll out to start across Europe from December 27

Ireland is among the countries which is due shipments of the vaccine in the following days.

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Medical staff member receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, U.S., December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Medical staff member receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, U.S., December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Marco Bello

Medical staff member receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida, U.S., December 15, 2020. REUTERS/Marco Bello

The roll out of the Covid-19 vaccine will start across the EU from Sunday week on December 27, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said today.

In a Twitter posting she said :"It's Europe's moment.

"On 27, 28 and 29 December vaccination will start across the EU.

"We protect our citizens together.”

The European Medicines Agency is due to meet on Monday and is expected to recommend the approval of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine.

Ireland is among the countries which is due shipments of the vaccine in the following days.

It is still unclear how much the first limited shipment from Belgium will contain but the first recipients will be people over 65 in long term care and frontline healthcare workers.

A shipment can contain enough doses for 2,437 people but some are smaller.

Each person needs two doses of the vaccine.

Mobile teams of vaccinators will bring the vaccines to residents in nursing homes and other facilities.

There are around 78,000 residents in long term care but it is expected to be February before they all vaccinated.

Each dose must be given three weeks apart,

HSE chief Paul Reid said he expects the first elements of a new computer system to keep track of the vaccines to be in place early in the roll out.

As more vaccine become available people will be able to register online.

Meanwhile, GPs have been told by the Irish Medical Organisation that €4.3m is being invested as part of supports due to increased pressures on GPs this winter.

This is intended to augment the service already been delivered by GPs in normal surgery hours and to meet the higher range of potential demand over the Winter months.

This service is in place from December 21 to end March 2021.

“It is important to note that the service will ensure COVID Assessment & Referral remains within the GP setting including out of hours,” it said.

All out of hours services will receive block funding based on expected levels of activity for December and January with a mix of block funding and activity based funding for February and March.

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