A covid-19 vaccine could be rolled out in the Republic of Ireland before the new year.
That's according to Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, ahead of a decision on its approval from European regulators.
The European Medicines Agency is expected to announce whether the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine is safe at its meeting on December 21st.
The group was initially expected to meet in December 29th to make a decision.
Health Minister Stephen Donnelly says Ireland's plans to roll out the vaccine were "flexible" around this date.
He's said that "it is possible that if the EMA does authorise this vaccine that an initial, it would be a very low level, but that an initial round of vaccination could actually begin before the new year."
— Stephen Murphy (@Stephen_Murphy5) December 15, 2020
The government's been setting out its plan for how 14.6 million doses will be distributed across the country.
It'll start in nursing homes and large hospitals, with mass vaccination centres set up once more vaccines are available.
Around 1,500 healthcare workers and 180 community-based staff will be involved in administering the jab.
*Reporting by Stephen Murphy