LATEST: Waterford among 270 new cases of virus, vaccine may be available by early January: Minister
A further five more people have died after contracting the coronavirus as 270 new cases of Covid-19 were confirmed this evening.
It brings the overall death told as a result of the virus to 2,074. There are now 73,066 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across the country, according to the latest daily briefing from the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET).
The breakdown of the latest cases is as follow: 58 are in Dublin, 38 in Donegal, 28 in Wicklow, 25 in Mayo, 24 in Limerick with the remaining 97 cases spread across 21 other counties, including five new infections in Waterford.
The latest cases were confirmed as Health Minister Stephen Donnelly indicated that a vaccine for the virus may be available in Ireland from early January.
The minister said the European Medicines Agency (EMA) will conduct a final review of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine on December 29. If approved, the vaccine could begin to be distributed in Ireland from early in the New Year.
Mr Donnelly said that the EMA indicated today that the approval of a second vaccine from Moderna will be decided upon at a second meeting on 12 January.
He told RTÉ’s News at One, Mr Donnelly that the EMA is also considering the credentials of the AstroZeneca/Oxford vaccine and a fourth vaccine from Jansen.
Minister Donnelly said the developed is “good news”, adding that Ireland now has now “the lowest Covid rate in the EU.”