The Minister for Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science Simon Harris TD has announced the extension of ‘vaccination week' pilots.
Pop-up vaccination centres were established across 15 higher education sites two weeks ago including at University College Cork and Munster Technological University.
Over 3,000 students received a vaccine at the centres, with 53% of students receiving their first dose.
Minister Harris said that they will return to 12 of the sites from Monday to ensure those who received their first dose can access their second, but will also be offering first vaccines to those who wish to receive it.
"Vaccine Week was a huge success with over 3,000 students receiving a vaccine on college campuses. Starting on Monday, we will return to 12 of those sites to ensure those who received their first dose can access their second.
“We know there are just 8.8% of the adult population who have not been vaccinated, and we know 28% of those are between 17 and 29.
"We have to ensure we do everything we can to offer students the opportunity to get vaccinated, protect themselves and protect their college communities."
He added: "We know that the Covid-19 vaccine is an effective way to protect yourself from the most severe effects of the virus. The recent rise in case numbers is a cause for concern but there are ways to protect ourselves and one another - get vaccinated, isolate and get tested if symptomatic (even if you're vaccinated), wear a mask, meet outdoors or in ventilated indoor spaces. You can stop the spread."
Minister Harris is meeting with stakeholders today to discuss the return to on-site teaching, research and study this semester.
He confirmed a rapid antigen testing pilot would be extended to seven campuses this autumn.
The programme is already underway at UCC.
"Rapid testing does not replace our public health advice to wear a mask and keep washing your hands, but it could be an additional weapon in our fight against Covid-19 in the future,” he said.