LATEST: Kilkenny among 329 new cases of virus, vaccine rollout could begin this month: Minister
A further eight people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 329 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall death toll as a result of the virus to 2,134. There has now been 76,776 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The breakdown of the latest cases is as follow: 86 are in Dublin, 41 in Louth, 34 in Donegal, 25 in Limerick, 17 in Kildare with the remaining 126 cases are spread across another 20 counties, including 12 more infections in Kilkenny.
The latest cases were confirmed as Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the vaccine could be rolled out before the end of the year.
The minister was speaking as the Government announced details of its Covid-19 vaccination plan this afternoon.
Mr Donnelly said people in Ireland could start to receive the jab by the end of the month if the European Medicines Agency (EMA) authorises the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine within a few days of its meeting on December 21.
The Government said vaccines will be rolled out in three phases: the initial roll out; a mass ramp-up; and open access.
High priority groups – those over the age of 65 living in long-term care facilities and frontline healthcare workers in direct patient contact – will receive the vaccine first.
PHOTO: Stock image