A senior official earlier on Tuesday said Ireland may be able to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to everyone in the country who wants one by August in a “fairly positive scenario” that would depend on the timing of approval of other vaccines.

The seven-day average number of daily cases of the novel coronavirus has tripled in Ireland to almost 1,000 over the last two weeks, after restrictions were eased in the run-up to the Christmas holiday.

The government has since closed restaurants and is to meet on Wednesday to consider additional restrictions.

It also brought forward the vaccine programme by a day following criticism it was acting too slowly after receiving the first doses of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on Dec. 26, as part of a coordinated European Union-wide roll-out.

A total of 86,894 have been infected in Ireland since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and 2,205 people have died as a result, Health Ministry data showed on Monday.

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