The first batch of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines have arrived in Ireland.
The 21,600 jabs, which were transported from Belgium, will be given to healthcare workers from Monday.
Ireland is using the two other approved vaccines, from Pfizer and Moderna, to vaccinate the over 70s.
Most over 70s will be able to get jabs in their GP practices.
The GP practice rollout begins on Monday week, with the over-85 age group being prioritised.
🚨 Big day. The @HSELive has just sent me this video of the first 21600 doses of AstraZeneca arriving this afternoon from Belgium to the national cold chain store in Dublin. First doses to be given to healthcare workers on Monday. 👏 well done to all pic.twitter.com/b6KsgljCFG— Stephen Donnelly (@DonnellyStephen) February 6, 2021
A further 55 Covid-19 related deaths were confirmed on Saturday, along with another 827 new confirmed cases of the virus.
As of 2pm on Saturday, 1,177 patients with Covid-19 were being treated in hospital, 177 of whom were in ICU.
HSE chief executive Paul Reid welcomed signs that numbers of those being treated in hospital were beginning to fall.
“It is still far too high for safety but a good sign that all of our actions are working,” he tweeted.
Earlier, chief medical officer Dr Tony Holohan noted that Ireland was suppressing the third wave of the pandemic faster than any other country in Europe.
Dr Holohan said the country was now in a “strong position” in the fight against the virus.
He added: “Thanks to the efforts of the population in staying home, limiting contacts and following public health advice there has been a substantial decrease in disease incidence and we can see that we are suppressing this third wave of Covid-19 infection faster than any other country in Europe.”