The Health Service Executive (HSE) has explained why Ireland is not rolling out a coronavirus vaccine campaign alongside other EU countries.
The European Union launched a vaccination programme on Sunday, after the Pfizer/BioNTech drug was approved on December 21st.
However Ireland will not begin vaccinations until December 30th, despite the first doses arriving here on St Stephen's Day.
In a statement, the HSE says its priority is "the safe and effective rollout of all vaccines in a managed and systemic manner."
It says that, following the authorisation of the first COVID-19 vaccine on December 21st, several further steps need to be completed before the vaccine can be given to the first priority group here.
It explains that the National Immunisation Advisory Committee must complete and publish its chapter of advice on use of COVID-19 vaccines in Ireland.
This was published on December 23rd.
Following this, the office has to finalise training and education for the vaccinators based on this guidance.
These then have to be made freely available via e-learning and online documentation.
After that, training has to take place in advance of the first vaccines being administered in four sites on December 30th.
The HSE says: "Public information materials were completed and published on December 24th and will be provided to people in advance of being vaccinated to allow for informed consent.
"The sequencing for vaccine rollout is detailed in the National COVID-19 Vaccination Programme".
Meanwhile Tánaiste Leo Varadkar has admitted Ireland is starting the roll-out of the vaccine at a slower pace than other countries.
But he told On The Record earlier that we will 'catch up'.
"What I'm told is it just takes a couple of days to organise things - and while you could have done a few people in the initial days, that the authorities thought it was better to start on Wednesday and start it properly, if you like".
"It is going to begin in earnest on Wednesday, we've 10,000 doses [that] have arrived, we'll have roughly 40,000 doses arriving every week from January".
This will begin with people in long-term care facilities, nursing homes and the staff working there.
"I think we'll probably start a little bit slower, but catch up".