The Health Minister has claimed there’s “no mountain” of vaccine supply out there that Ireland can tap into.
Both Fianna Fail and Fine Gael TD’s criticised the procurement process for Covid-19 vaccinations last night.
The European Medicines Agency is expected to approve the use of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine later today.
At the Fianna Fáil Parliamentary meeting Sligo Leitrim TD Marc MacSharry reiterated his calls for the government to source vaccines outside the EU procurement programme.
Finance Committee Chairman John McGuinness told the Taoiseach he has contacts on Capitol Hill who are telling him vaccines can be sourced in other places.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly replied, saying there is no mountain of available vaccine supply out there, while Junior Minister for European Affairs Thomas Byrne said Russia has vaccinated very little of its population, despite selling the Sputnik vaccine elsewhere.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin said the government would be offering supports to any pharmaceutical companies who wish to manufacture vaccines here.
At the Fine Gael Parliamentary Party meeting Tánaiste Leo Varadkar said the government doesn’t have control over the supply or manufacturing of vaccine doses, and that all countries would need their own supply of vaccines for several months yet.
He also said the focus of any re-opening in April will be not to jeopardize schools and childcare – warning if they jump ahead of the plan Ireland may end up going backwards.
The frustration among government TDs comes ahead of the expected approval of the single-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine for use in the EU later today.