Ireland, along with the rest of the EU, is struggling with its vaccination programme which is lagging some way behind the UK and US.
After speaking with Joe Biden on Wednesday Micheál Martin claimed the president “doesn’t necessarily have a stockpile in the sense that he wants to find out will he have in time a sufficiency of vaccines for his own people”.
However on Thursday the US confirmed it will release seven million doses of the Oxford vaccine, which has yet to be approved for use in America.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said: “I can confirm that we have seven million releasable doses of AstraZeneca”.
He added “2.5 million of these, we are working to finalise plans to lend to Mexico and 1.5 million to Canada”.
Around 10 percent of the Irish population have received at least one coronavirus vaccine sparking criticism at the slow pace of rollout.
By contrast the UK has jabbed over 25 million people, or half the adult population.
According to Mr Martin the US president indicated America will do more to assist other countries later in the year.
Referring to Mr Biden he said: “He’ll know later on, towards the summer, where he stands and then he’ll know how America can help others after that period.
“But that can go right to the beginning of summer before America will know in terms of having a sufficiency of supply for their own people to get their own people vaccinated and then consider the situation after that.”
More to follow…