Taoiseach Micheál Martin has said the issue of opening an additional mass vaccination centre in Co Limerick can be looked at as the Government wants to give as many citizens as possible access to the national vaccination programme.

Mr Martin was speaking on Limerick's Live95fm.

He was responding to the fact that just one vaccination centre hasd been set-up for Limerick, at the Radisson Blu hotel on the outskirts of Limerick city, which is geographically located in Co Clare.

Cork, by comparison, has five centres.

The Taoiseach also said he is hopeful the country is on target to get daily Covid-19 cases down to between 400 and 600 by the end of February.

He said the basic model of vaccination programme will be GP-led, and the vaccination centres will be supplementary to this rollout.

It will be April or May when these big centres will be needed, he said.

He explained that the locations were chosen by the local Health Service Executive areas and if additional centres are required the Government has no issue with that..

The Taoiseach said he is loath to predict what may happen beyond April, but in May, June and July "certainly we will be in a very different space" because of significant vaccination of the over-70s by then who are the most vulnerable group.

He said Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr Glynn wants to take things on a phased based but they also want to give people hope as well.

They will be monitoring the impact of the return of schools over a two-week period and see what this mobilisation will bring.

We still have over 800 people in hospital and we have to get that down, he said, and the daily figure is also going down.

Mr Martin said they are on target to get down to between 400 and 600 cases a day by the end of February and he is hopeful we can achieve that.


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