The Cabinet has formally given its approval to allow GPs and pharmacists administer Covid-19 vaccines.
Senior Government sources have confirmed to thethat GPs and pharmacists will be used to vaccinate 1.5m people, in a scheme which will cost €91m.
The plan, as signed off by ministers, will cover the administration of the vaccine in GP surgeries.
It is anticipated that other larger premises in communities like sports halls and community centres as well as mass vaccination centres to be established by the HSE.
The new scheme, brought to Cabinet by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly is seen as a key component in the mass rollout of the vaccine It is expected that vaccinations will commence as soon as practicable after the AstraZenaca vaccine is approved by the EU.
Government sources have said supplies will be delivered and rollout could commence by the end of the month.
GPs and pharmacists will be paid €25 for administering each dose of the vaccine in their surgeries or in centres in their localities, under the terms of the deal.
An additional single €10 processing fee would be paid per patient, sources have said.
For a two-dose vaccine, the fee payable to GPs or pharmacists will be €60.
If a single-dose vaccine is subsequently approved, the total fee paid to GPs will be €35.