It's mainly down to supply and Chief Medical Officer Tony Holohan's advice that people aged over 70 get the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines instead of the AstraZeneca shot because of a lack of available data on its efficacy for people in this age bracket.
Measuring vaccine efficacy allows doctors and scientists to determine the reduction of Covid-19 in inoculated groups compared with unvaccinated ones. Studies to date do not include enough data on older people who received the AstraZeneca vaccine in trials for Dr Holohan to recommend it be used for over-70s.
The short of it is that things are going to take a little longer than initially hoped and planned for. It was originally thought that close to 1.5 million vaccine doses would be here by the end of next month, but supply issues make achieving this unlikely. Fewer vaccines being available slows down the roll-out, but there should be about 1.2 million by the end of March, possibly more if there are no supply issues and the flow of available jabs continues to improve.
Those who are most vulnerable are still going to be prioritised, but how you receive it might be different to what you initially expected, depending on how old you are, where you live or who your GP is.
Hubs, large-scale clinics and dedicated vaccine centres are going to be set up and many people are going to receive their jabs in these.
That depends on the category you fall into, but most patients aged 70 and over will still get the jab from a doctor at their local GP practice, although it might not always be at the building where you normally visit your doctor.
Of course not. Where someone gets the vaccine depends on each GP's panel of patients and its profile. If you attend a GP who happens to have more than 200 patients aged 70 or over, it is likely they will continue to work from their own premises, so you would be inoculated there. However, there are some busy practices that have already explored using another nearby premises or community centre for vaccines so they can keep this work separate from their routine appointments and non-Covid-19 related patients.
Around 400 surgeries have fewer than 200 patients in the 70-plus age bracket. If your GP is one of these, it is more likely you will be inoculated in a hub or dedicated vaccine clinic. There is also going to be a "GP-buddy" system.
My GP is already pretty popular. I doubt he needs more friends.
It's not that kind of buddy. Some practices with smaller patient panels will be paired with a nearby practice to make things more efficient. So, let's say you live in a village with two GP practices and each has 150 patients aged over 70 on their panels - that's 300 potential vaccine recipients. Many could go to a local practice that has been designated as the local site for vaccinations, regardless of where they normally see their doctor. This may be the surgery they usually visit or another.
Your GP will tell you.
There have been some hubs for frontline healthcare workers, such as a pop-up one at a hotel in Laois a few weeks ago, where they administered the first doses of the Moderna vaccine, but these ones for patients are going to look a little different. They are likely to be in well-known places such as colleges, parish halls and community centres.
We have not seen the inside of one yet, but waiting and hanging around before the jab will be minimised to protect against spreading the virus, so you will not always be able to expect a GP-style waiting room with magazines and leaflets. There will be an area where vaccines will be administered and an observation space where patients can be monitored for a short while after receiving the injection to make sure they have had no adverse reactions before going home.
Not necessarily. Patients from more than 100 Dublin GP practices are going to be able to attend a clinic being set up at Dublin City University. The Irish Medical Organisation told GPs in Cork and Galway they would get similar centres.
February 15 is the key date. From then, more than 70,000 people aged 85 and over will begin receiving the vaccine.
Not quite. There are an estimated 75,000 frontline healthcare workers who are still to receive a jab. Then there are other healthcare workers who are not considered frontline because they are not in direct contact with patients, who must also be inoculated. They include lab staff and others working behind the scenes who keep the health service running.
Well, there are other vulnerable cohorts who have progressed through the earlier stages of the programme but who are still priority cases. There are around 500,000 at-risk adults who are being targeted here.
The HSE is very keen to stress you do not need to contact it to get a vaccine. It says it will let people know when they can register for a vaccination through their local healthcare team, and it will also run adverts and awareness campaigns when appropriate.
Basically, if you are aged 85 or older, your GP will probably be in contact with you soon, once your vaccine is available. Then they will contact the next group to be inoculated and so on. Doctors have been told booking and registration will still take place through them, regardless of where a patient may eventually receive their jab.
Later in the campaign, when delivery ramps up, people getting vaccinated at GPs, pharmacies and centres across the country will be able to use an online booking system.
Visit our Covid-19 vaccine dashboard for updates on the roll out of the vaccination program and the rate of Coronavirus cases Ireland