Pharmacies will be playing a role in vaccinations from early June, Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has told the Seanad.

He said this is the updated position as of a few hours ago.

"Where I think this is particularly important is in some of the areas that are further from the vaccination centres," he said.

It comes as the vaccine registration portal will open for people aged 40 to 44 from this Wednesday.

Mr Donnelly said that those aged 44 will be able to register on Wednesday, with 43 year olds able to register on Thursday, those aged 42 on Friday, 41 on Saturday and 40 year olds on Sunday.

More than over one million Covid vaccine doses have been administered in May, taking the total number administered so far to 2.7 million.

Half of the adult population has now had at least one dose of a Covid-19 vaccine.

Despite the progress, Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid has warned the virus has the potential to catch us again and that we must remain diligent.

Read more: Latest coronavirus stories

The HSE said it is working to get systems back up and running after the recent cyber attack, as quickly as possible in the safest way, for service users in line with clinical priority.

Detailed daily data on vaccinations and daily reports on hospital cases of Covid-19 were not ready yet, the HSE added, but it has been marked as a priority.

It said it hopes to be able to provide further data as soon as possible.

The daily vaccination dashboard was last updated on 11 May and the daily hospital Covid-19 last update was on 13 May.

378 new cases of Covid-19 reported

There have been 378 new confirmed cases of Covid-19 reported to the Department of Health.

The number of people with the disease in ICU is 35, unchanged since yesterday.

The total number of coronavirus patients in hospital is 98.

There has been a spike in Covid-19 cases in Limerick over the past 10 days, according to Public Health Mid West.

This includes 90 cases on Friday, 53 cases on Saturday, and 59 cases yesterday.

It is the sharpest increase in Covid-19 cases since before the onset of the 'third wave' in December.

There have been 39 new cases of coronavirus reported in Northern Ireland today and no further deaths.

59 hotel quarantine cases linked to variants of concern

59 of the Covid-19 cases detected in mandatory hotel quarantine since 26 March were linked with variants of concern, the Minister for Health has said.

Last Thursday, Minister Donnelly told the Dáil the variants identified included "47 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant first identified in the UK and 12 cases of the B.1.351 variant first identified in South Africa or the P1 variant first identified in Brazil."

The results of further tests are being awaited, Mr Donnelly told the Seanad, which is set to vote to extend the system until 30 July.

In total, 178 people out of 4,616 who entered mandatory hotel quarantine have tested positive for Covid-19.

The US along with Belgium, Luxembourg and France have now been taken off the mandatory hotel quarantine list.

The minister said that hotel quarantining had worked well and reduced Covid-19 case numbers.