An additional 2,000 Covid-19 vaccines are to be administered to healthcare workers in Cork hospitals this weekend.
In a statement issued by the South/South West Hospital Group (S/SWHG) they confirmed that the new stock of vaccines will be administered to "public-facing healthcare staff" working at Cork University Hospital, Mercy University Hospital and South Infirmary Victoria University Hospital.
Welcoming the allocation of vaccines, Prof Orla Healy, Chief Operations Officer at the S/SWHG said:
"The ten hospitals in the group, covering Kerry, Waterford, South Tipperary and Cork, are already over-subscribed with applications from staff wishing to avail of the vaccines.
"While this additional allocation will assist in meeting this demand, it is only the start of a comprehensive programme of vaccinations to cater for acute hospital and community healthcare staff in the region.
"We intend to immediately to administer the additional consignment of vaccines in Cork city this weekend."
The group said it expects to commence vaccination in University Hospital Waterford next week and will confirm other sites in the coming days.
Last night, the Department of Health confirmed that an additional 1,620 cases of Covid-19 were diagnosed as of midnight on Wednesday.
Prof Karina Butler, Chair of the National Immunisation Advisory Committee, appealed to the public to "hold firm" and abide by the Covid regulations as the vaccines are rolled out.
"The roll out of our national vaccination programme is underway with our first priority to focus on residents of nursing homes and front line healthcare staff.
"The vaccine is a vital tool in our strategy to protect us against Covid-19 infection and it goes hand in hand with the public health measures on handwashing, social distancing and staying at home.
"We need to hold firm now and collectively we can bring the virus numbers down swiftly and protect our vital public services," she said.