Ireland to buy 1 million COVID-19 vaccines from Romania

General view of an HSE coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination centre outside St. Mary's Hospital, in Phoenix Park in Dublin, Ireland, February 14, 2021. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne

DUBLIN, July 2 (Reuters) - Ireland has agreed in principle to buy one million COVID-19 vaccines from Romania, an Irish government spokesman said on Friday, just days after Romania agreed to offload over 1 million excess shots to fellow EU member Denmark.

Supplies are far outstripping demand for COVID-19 shots in Romania, where vaccine hesitancy is spreading as a result of entrenched distrust of state institutions, misinformation campaigns and lack of public awareness. read more

Ireland has one of the highest rates of vaccine uptake in Europe. Almost 45% of its 3.8 million adult population have been fully vaccinated and 65% have received their first of two doses.

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The government hopes its decision to speed up vaccinating younger people will slow the spread of the extremely contagious Delta variant of the coronavirus and resume a delayed reopening of the economy. read more

"The Taoiseach (prime minister) had a good discussion this morning with his EU counterpart, Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, and they agreed in principle to the purchase of one million vaccines," a spokesman for Irish Prime Minister Micheál Martin said.

"This process is continuing and is yet to be completed."

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Reporting by Padraic Halpin Editing by Bill Berkrot

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