A deal has been completed to secure 700,000 Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccines from Romania, the Taoiseach has said.
Micheál Martin described the deal as "fantastic news and a welcome boost to our roll-out, which continues to experience huge support and uptake from the Irish public".
In a statement he said the vaccines were a boost to the national vaccination programme and that they would be used to meet vaccine uptake demand.
A spokesperson for Mr Martin clarified that the 700,000 vaccines are part of an agreement made with Romania last month for 1 million doses.
Mr Martin held talks with the Romanian President Klaus Iohannis in early July, and it was agreed in principle to purchase one million mRNA vaccines.
At the time, the Taoiseach pointed out that Romania's rate of vaccine uptake "has not been as significant as Ireland's".
The vaccines are due to be shipped here this month.
Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly said the vaccines will be delivered throughout this month and "will allow us to continue to ramp up the roll-out of the vaccination programme".
The Department of Health said the additional doses are being secured directly from Pfizer and are a redistribution of supplies which had originally been ordered by Romania.
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More than 30,000 people availed of the walk-in vaccination centres that operated around the country over the Bank Holiday weekend.
Health Service Executive CEO Paul Reid said the success of the initiative exceeded all expectations.
Over 30,000 people were administered a vaccination at our walk in centres the weekend. Outstripping our expectations by far. All age groups went through but this initiative makes us beyond proud of younger people. When needed, they once again showed up in numbers. @HSELive— Paul Reid (@paulreiddublin) August 3, 2021
The HSE is considering reopening some of the centres because of their popularity.
It comes as the HSE expects to begin vaccinating children aged between 12 and 15 within the next two weeks.
Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry told RTÉ News yesterday that the HSE is working on some outstanding logistical issues before opening the portal.
''We've got to prepare the consent forms that parents will need to consider and make the right decision for their child,'' Dr Henry said.
The HSE is also looking closely at the information it will give to the public regarding the efficacy of vaccines and the benefits for children.
Hospitality sector seeking end of 11.30pm curfew
Meanwhile, members of the hospitality sector are to meet Government officials tomorrow, where the Restaurants Association of Ireland will press for a further relaxation of restrictions.
CEO Adrian Cummins said he believes that the 11.30pm curfew should be scrapped from September onwards.
The association is also looking for PCR and antigen testing to be used, to allow unvaccinated people to dine indoors.
While no decisions are expected from tomorrow's meeting, Mr Cummins believes that it will be an important opportunity to engage with officials.
"We don't want another 11th hour decision," he said.
Mr Cummins described the current rules, allowing indoor dining for those who are fully vaccinated only, as "very difficult, very problematic, there's a lot of paperwork".
He said he hopes that a timeline can be developed soon, which will set out how restrictions can be eased over the coming weeks and months.
Mr Cummins urged people to report non-compliance with indoor hospitality regulations.
Speaking on RTÉ's Drivetime, Mr Cummins said customers should "highlight with Fáilte Ireland" premises which are not complying with the Government guidelines.
"We need to make sure everyone does this properly. We have to make sure that we are all on a level playing pitch."
Speaking on the same programme, Padraig Cribben, CEO of the Vintners Association of Ireland, said he is aware of a number of instances when customers have refused to wear masks.
He described these people as a "minority".
"There have been issues where people have turned up at doors, who say they have been fully vaccinated, and say that they are not wearing masks," he said.
Mr Cribben is calling on the Government to relax restrictions to allow customers to order drinks at the bar.
Separately, the Cabinet committee on Covid-19 is due to meet virtually on Friday for the first of a number of meetings it will hold during August.
There have been 1,015 cases of Covid-19 reported by the Department of Health today.
The number of people with Covid-19 who are receiving treatment in hospital is up one to 178, 29 of these patients are being treated in ICU - an increase of two from yesterday.
Additional reporting Tommy Meskill