THE Irish government expects to vaccinate at least four million people against Covid-19 before the end of September.
Ireland has a population of just under five million, meaning that by Autumn, around 80% of the country could be vaccinated.
Vaccine projections sent by Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly to TDs on Wednesday shows that Ireland is set to receive around 3.7 million doses of the vaccine between April and the end of June, and a further 3.8 million between July and the end of September.
Vaccinating four million people would represent a significant step in the fight against coronavirus, especially given that health experts have suggested that herd immunity would be achieved when around 70% of the population is resistant to the virus.
Earlier this week, it was revealed that the Government hopes to vaccinate around 700,000 people before the end of March.
Elderly people as well as healthcare workers are being prioritised, but attention will turn to adults of all ages by the summer once additional vaccines are approved by the European Medicines Agency (EMA) in the coming weeks.
On Tuesday, the first doses of the Moderna vaccine arrived in Ireland, after being approved for use by the EMA on January 6.
Ireland is set to receive around 800,000 doses of the US drug-makers product.
It has become the second vaccine approved for use in Europe after Pfizer's was given the green light in December.
AstraZeneca's jab is still being considered by the EMA, but approval is expected before the end of January.