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jab roll out Up to 5,000 will be given Covid-19 jab each day from the vaccine centres

The HSE said the 37 vaccination centres across the country can carry out between 1,000 to 5,000 inoculations a day.

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Syringes are filled with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: TT News Agency/Johan Nilsson via Reuters

Syringes are filled with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: TT News Agency/Johan Nilsson via Reuters

Syringes are filled with the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: TT News Agency/Johan Nilsson via Reuters

One million Covid-19 vaccines will be delivered into Ireland each month from April, it emerged yesterday.

The jabs are set to be administered from GPs, pharmacies and special vaccine centres across the country.

Up to 5,000 people will be vaccinated each day from the vaccine centres alone, HSE chief Paul Reid said.

But as the country was warned that the fall in the spread of the virus is too slow- prolonging the chance of a longer lockdown it emerged that the HSE does not know the source of transmission in around one of four cases of the virus.

This is because there is not enough staff in public health teams. This undermines the effort to track the virus and reduce its spread.

The HSE said the 37 vaccination centres across the country can carry out between 1,000 to 5,000 inoculations a day and many others will get the jab from GPs who will boost the roll out.

Mr Reid said the vaccination centres will employ vaccinators on twelve hour shifts and open seven days a week as once million doses a month are due here between April and June.

He said: "The centres will range in size with bigger centres doing 5,000 a day and smaller centres doing between 1,000 to 2,000 a day. The workforce is being organised around that. The national campaign to supplement vaccinations is underway. It will operate on a 12 hour shift basis, seven days a week."

It comes amid fears that people will start to slacken their adherence to lockdown rules and see the phased reopening of schools from early March as a signal that lockdown is over.

New figures released last night revealed It comes that 47 more deaths were reported with 901 newly diagnosed cases of the virus, 437 of which were in Dublin.

Prof Philip Nolan who tracks the virus said the more infectious UK coronavirus variant, which is now the dominant form of virus here, is slowing down the rate at which the virus is being driven down.

The slower pace will impact on how soon a significant reopening of the country can take place but there were indications last night that the Government's new Living with Covid plan to be launched next week will place a strong emphasis on loosening restrictions on areas which will improve mental health.

Within the next two week there will be new guidance on whether the restrictions on visiting at nursing homes can be eased in the light of vaccination of residents and staff.

Prof Nolan said the rate of decline is slowing and the variant is to blame for a particularly high level of the virus being passed on in households.

The number of people in hospital is falling but the rate of admissions has plateaued around 40-50.

The rate of disease in the 19-24 year age group is on the rise but the incidence in older people has fallen.

Deaths from Covid-19 are past their peak but the positivity rate from the virus is still at around 6pc and is too high.

Dr Glynn said it is acknowledged that people are making major sacrifices and lockdown is having wide ranging impact across society.

He said the "biggest concern" is the phased reopening of schools will send a signal to broader society that they can relax their adherence to lockdown.

The impact of the reopening is to be assessed on a weekly to fortnightly basis on the spread of the disease.

Dr Colm Henry of the HSE said it is too early to determine what benefit vaccinations here have had do far although there are early indications from Israel and the UK that it is influencing levels of infection and disease in older people.

The pressure on public health teams in the HSE to fully investigate and track the source of infection remains an issue.

Dr Glynn said the National Public Health Emergency Team had sought retrospective tracing - where public health staff tracked an outbreak back to the source - but this had to be abandoned in the recent surge after it got underway late last year.


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