By Digital Desk Staff
A multi-million euro plan that would see GPs and pharmacists vaccinate 1.5 million people against Covid-19 will be considered by the Cabinet today.
The Irish Times reports that under the proposed deal, GPs and pharmacists would be paid almost €91 million to administer vaccines.
The plan would cover the rollout of the vaccine in GP surgeries, potentially larger locations such as sports or church halls and in mass vaccination centres set up by the HSE.
If agreed, the deal is expected to come into effect as soon as possible after the AstraZeneca vaccine - which is easier to distribute as it does not require ultra-cold storage - is approved for use in the European Union.
Doses of the vaccine could arrive into the Republic at the end of January or early in February.
Under the plan, GPs and pharmacists would be paid €25 for administering each dose of the vaccine and an additional €10 processing fee for each patient.
The total fee paid would be €60 for a two-dose vaccine, such as that being produced by AstraZeneca, and €35 for a single-dose vaccine, if one is approved in the future.
GPs who work in mass vaccination centres established by the HSE would receive an hourly fee of €120, while pharmacists would be paid a fee of €70.
The new deal is scheduled to run for six months and would then be reviewed.
It comes as more than 77,000 doses of a Covid-19 vaccine have been administered in the Republic so far.
There have been a total of 81 reports of suspected side effects associated with the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine in Ireland.