Boris Johnson 'tells Irish PM no spare vaccines until UK has had jab'
9th March 2021

Boris Johnson ‘tells Irish PM Micheal Martin that Britain will NOT send coronavirus vaccines to Ireland until people in the UK have had the jab’

  • Micheal Martin said PM had told him UK not in position to send jabs to Ireland
  • Mr Martin said Mr Johnson’s first priority is to vaccinate people living in UK
  • UK vaccine roll-out continues at pace but Ireland struggling to meet targets 

Boris Johnson has told the Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin that Britain will not send coronavirus vaccines to Ireland until people in the UK have had the jab. 

Mr Martin said Mr Johnson had made clear to him that the UK is not currently in a position to send any of its vaccine supply to Ireland. 

The Irish PM said Mr Johnson’s first priority is to vaccinate people living in the UK.    

It comes as Britain’s vaccine roll-out continues to proceed at pace while Ireland is struggling to meet its own targets following a number of delivery issues. 

Irish Taoiseach Micheal Martin said Boris Johnson had made clear to him that the UK is not currently in a position to send any of its vaccine supply to Ireland

The UK’s coronavirus vaccine roll-out continues at pace but Ireland is struggling to meet its targets

There are question marks over whether the Irish government will be able to meet its ambition of rolling out one million vaccines in April.  

As an EU member state, Ireland’s vaccination drive is being steered by Brussels.  

Mr Martin said he was ‘disappointed’ with some of the issues relating to the vaccine supply.

Speaking today Mr Martin said: ‘The British Prime Minister has made it clear to me that obviously his first priority is to vaccinate his people.

‘It would be helpful to Ireland if the situation arose, but right now he has to concentrate on vaccinating his own people.

‘Until then he won’t be in a position to give vaccines to anybody and he has made that point to me, which I thought was fairly obvious at the outset.’

Asked about the supply, Mr Martin said: ‘We are disappointed with quarter one in terms of the issues, but in terms of protecting the most vulnerable, we have made progress on that and the impact of the vaccines is very positive.

‘We have seen that in terms of healthcare workers, hospitals and in nursing homes in particular, and now out in the community in the over-80s. That is good news.

‘We have very good vaccines that are giving protection to people as well.’

Ireland has extended its lockdown restrictions until April 5. Mr Martin said the Government will review the level five restrictions in a number of weeks. 

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