Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has said the Government is in talks to secure early delivery of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Stephen Donnelly says an advanced shipment would allow vaccinations to start as soon as EU approval for the vaccine is granted.
The European Medicines Agency is due to meet at the end of the month to consider authorising the jab for use across member states.
Mr Donnelly says an early delivery means we could begin roll-out out right away.
GP surgeries and pharmacies
He said: “What I would like to see if it's possible, is that we get the AstraZeneca vaccine into Ireland and ideally into all of the GP surgeries, into all of the pharmacies, so that the moment the EMA and the European Commission authorise it I then have to sign a statutory instrument that authorises use in Ireland and we get vaccinated straight away.”
The AstraZeneca vaccine will allow for much more widespread inoculation of the population as it can be kept at normal fridge temperature unlike the Pfizer-BioNTech jab that has to be kept at -70.
This means the AstraZeneca vaccine will be much easier to store and distribute.
Ireland is entitled to 3.3 million doses of it under an EU agreement.