A deal to get GPs and pharmacists administering the coronavirus vaccine has been given the go-ahead by Cabinet ministers.
From next month, they will be able to give people the soon-to-be-approved Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine - which can be stored much more easily than the others available.
The deal is worth around €91m and will see vaccinations done in GP surgeries, mass vaccination centres and other venues.
It would see roughly 1.5 million people inoculated against the disease.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly presented the deal to his Cabinet colleagues on Tuesday morning.
It would see GPs and pharmacists get €60 for vaccinating a patient with two injections - and €35 per single dose once the option is available.
The plan would begin from early February and run for six months.
Meanwhile the the Health Products Regulatory Authority (HPRA) has revealed some side-effects from the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.
Up to January 11th, the HPRA received a total of 81 reports of suspected side-effects associated.
It said all reports were generally consistent with those typically observed with other vaccines.
Among those most frequently reported were abdominal pain, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and pains in the arms.
Some also experienced dizziness, headache, itching and a rash – which the HPRA said is "all consistent with the known and anticipated side-effects as emerged during the clinical trials."
Dr Lorraine Nolan, chief executive of the HPRA, said: "While the relatively mild effects described are of course uncomfortable for those who experience them, they do pass quickly and generally do not require any medical treatment.
"Safety monitoring of all medicines, including vaccines, is central to the remit of the HPRA and we intend to publish a regular update of the number and nature of reports regarding suspected side effects with COVID-19 vaccines, as the vaccination roll-out continues."
The latest figures show that 94,000 people had received their first dose of the vaccine by Sunday January 17th .
Booking vaccine appointments
While Minister of State for Public Procurement Ossian Smyth has suggested getting a vaccine appointment 'will be as easy as buying a cinema ticket'.
He told The Hard Shoulder: "It is not a case of your doctor writing to you. It will be a case of there being an ad in the newspaper or something in the news saying, everybody aged 55 to 59 can now go online and register for their vaccine and choose their nearest centre.
"You will get a ticket number and you will show up with your ID to get vaccinated."
He said it organising a vaccine appointment will be easy.
"Once we get to the broader sections of society based on age groups, we can reasonably say that those people can self-register in the same way you would go online to get a cinema ticket or to get a flight".
"People are familiar with that process – you go on you book and so on.
"There will be alternative for people who are not able to do that, who need assisted digital and who need somebody else to book it for them – which can be done over the phone."