Immunologist Professor Luke O'Neill has said the best thing to do is to make any coronavirus vaccine voluntary.
It comes as he said he expects a Pfizer-Biontech vaccine will be approved by US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulators on December 10th.
He told The Pat Kenny Show that if this happens, there is no reason to delay its roll-out here.
"I suspect it will be approved on December 10th, it looks like".
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"There's already planes delivering vaccine around the country, they're very optimistic.
"So if there's a vaccine available and it's being used in America from the 11th of December - it's also being made in Belgium - why wouldn't we begin to distribute it?"
"But I do think in America, they're saying 11th of December their vaccination programme will begin - and it shouldn't be any different in Europe, really".
He said some logistics - such as who will give the vaccine - are being worked out by the Government's Taskforce on COVID-19 Vaccination.
In terms of making it mandatory, Prof O'Neill said this is not the best idea.
"Some countries will make it mandatory to have it anyway - in some countries it'll be illegal not to vaccinate.
"Now, we don't want to do that: the best thing with vaccines is to make it voluntary and to try to convince people from their better nature.
"You're not really taking the vaccine for yourself, you're doing it to protect others.
"That's the line that we must follow".
But he said it could be mandatory for anyone who wishes to travel.
"One reason why airlines will insist on it is to protect other people on the plane, not just you.
"So it's more of a community-based argument, and previous vaccine campaigns have made that case".
"That might be in an airplane, it might be in a sports stadium wherever crowds gather".
"And it's choice - you can choose not to travel, you can choose not to go to a football match if you wish".
While Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said there have been no discussions at Government level about making a vaccine mandatory.
Speaking to Newstalk on Sunday, Minister Donnelly said: "Several EU countries have introduced legislation on mandatory vaccination.
"We haven’t and I can tell you there has been no conversation at Government level about doing that.
"My strong preference with it is that it would be voluntary".
Prof O'Neill also said that when a vaccine is approved, people should be aware of some side-effects.
"These vaccines will give you some symptoms, we must get people ready for this."
This could include flu-like, heavy cold symptoms for a half a day or so.
"We know that from the phase two trial... there will be some minor symptoms, not severe enough to stop people using the vaccine".
He also suggested that health authorities will decide which manufacturer will be used.
"I suspect the HSE will recommend one for everybody - that's probably going to happen first.
"As it moves on, though, the marketing departments of these companies will say 'Use our vaccine instead of theirs'.
"If they're all equally efficacious, you could have a choice - but I think initially there won't be much choice".