Irish premier calls for calm in the race to vaccinate populations

PA

Irish premier Micheal Martin has called for calm in the race to vaccinate populations.

Mr Martin was speaking in the wake of a move by the European Union (EU) to use a post-Brexit mechanism to interfere with supply lines of the jab.

The bloc later backtracked following outrage in London, Belfast and Dublin.

The Taoiseach said more people getting vaccinated across Europe is a good thing.

Coronavirus – Mon Jan 4, 2021
Coronavirus – Mon Jan 4, 2021

“We were watching what’s happening in the UK and saying, ‘well done, you are vaccinating quickly and that’s important’,” he told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show.

“Overall, across Europe we all need to roll out the vaccination programme as effectively and efficiently as we can, so I would like if we can dial down the tone and work collegially is the best way to deal with this.”

Asked whether he would like to see any UK surplus of the vaccination distributed to Ireland, Mr Martin said there is a long way to go yet.

“The UK has a long way to go, we have a long way to go, Europe has long way to go,” he said.

“I think all of us have a collective responsibility to ensure that the developing world, and particularly frontline workers in the developing world, are vaccinated as well because this is a global situation.

“There’s very little point in the virus raging across developing countries while we vaccinate 100% here because that would mean more mutations.

“We have a journey to go but I think we will get there if we can just calm down.

“There’s an understandable race against time in relation to getting the vaccines out but, if you think about it, what has happened in the last 10 months has been truly remarkable that we’ve managed to facilitate the development of vaccines in such a short space of time.

“I understand that anxiety, but we will get there.”

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