The Department of Health has confirmed plans to make the swine flu vaccine available nationwide in the autumn.

Chief Medical Officer Dr Tony Holohan said up to 7.7m treaments should be available for distribution after the summer.

Dr Holohan was speaking to Rachael English on RTÉ Radio's Marian Fincuane Show this morning.

The HSE also confirmed the plan. A spokesperson told RTÉ that the vaccine will be offered to the entire population and that contracts are already in place with drug manufacturers.

Vulnerable sections of the population, health workers and workers in essential public services will get the vaccine first and it will then be offered to the wider population.

Yesterday, 12 new cases of the A(H1N1) flu were confirmed in the Republic and five in Northern Ireland, bringing the total across the island above the 100 mark.

Also yesterday, the British authorities confirmed a fourth death from the virus, having acknowledged the previous day that it had moved away from the policy of containment of the flu.

But warnings that the UK could see up to 100,000 cases of the flu have been described as over pessimistic.