Taoiseach Micheal Martin has made a direct appeal to young people to get vaccinated as the number of cases linked to the Delta variant soars.
Currently everyone over the age of 18 can register for a vaccine.
The Government hopes the majority of young adults will be fully vaccinated before the start of the new academic year.
Mr Martin said the HSE will shortly open its portal for secondary school students and those aged 16 to 18.
As further restrictions were lifted on Monday and cases are continuing to rise, the Government is under pressure to have as many teenagers vaccinated before pupils return to the classroom.
“I would appeal to the age cohorts who can register on the portal – please take up the opportunity of getting vaccinated,” Mr Martin said.
“We are registering for the 18 to 25-year-olds and shortly we will be opening for 16 to 18-year-olds.
“We would appeal to those age cohorts to take the opportunity of getting your vaccine.
“That will help us defeat this.”
Monday saw the reopening of indoor dining in pubs and restaurants.
Mr Martin said it is the Government’s intention not to go back on its reopening plans.
This is a new phase of the pandemic and in every phase we have to be agile enough to respondMicheal Martin
“We have been very agile throughout the pandemic,” he added.
“We’ve had to make different moves at different times.
“On this occasion, it’s different because we have people vaccinated.
“That is a powerful weapon.
“This is a new phase of the pandemic and in every phase we have to be agile enough to respond, people have to adhere to guidance and regulations.
“The ideal scenario is a continued rollout of the vaccination programme, combined with sensible, precautionary behaviour on all our part.
“That’s where we can defeat this virus.
“It’s been an extraordinary vaccination programme to all concerned, (we are) making very rapid progress.”
Mr Martin said he spoke to the deputy chief medical officer Dr Ronan Glynn about the reopening of schools in September.
He said the Government and the National Public Health Emergency Team (Nphet) are “fully committed” to schools reopening.