The Irish government confirmed the agreement yesterday with the Irish Medical Organisation.
GPs working at mass vaccination centres are to be paid €120 per hour, whilst colleagues in practices will be paid €60 for administering two doses of the vaccine to a recipient.
Calling the pay packet “very good value”, the government confirmed it will spend over €90m in vaccinating an estimated 1.5 million people.
Doctors will receive more than double the amount their UK counterparts are paid to vaccinate, with NHS GPs only receiving €28 for the two doses.
GPs here will be paid a processing fee of €10 along with €25 per dose, giving them a total of €60 per person for both injections.
One government spokesman told Independent.ie that “nobody has any issues with the fees, everyone’s happy”, and that the cost “will prove very good value in the long run.”
Chairman of the GP committee of the Irish Medical Organisation Dr. Denis McCauley said doctors were being paid similar amounts to the charge for administering the flu vaccine.
“The fee we agreed is what we agreed for the flu vaccine and there is an extra admin charge until the software is up and running.” he told Independent.ie.
Whilst the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines require two doses, the single-dose Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which has not yet been approved by the EU regulator, is yet to reach Irish shores.
A European Commission spokesman told the Irish Times that the early delivery hoped for by Minister Stephen Donnelly would not happen before any such approval.
“Vaccines cannot be delivered before EMA [European Medicines Agency] delivers its recommendation for authorisation and the commission then grants marketing authorisation. This is a requirement as per the Advance Purchase Agreement.”
Cabinet ministers recently heard plans to vaccinate 777,000 people by the end of March, with 165,000 people expected to have been immunised by the end of January. Government leaders are meeting with the National Immunisation Advisory Committee today to discuss the roll-out.
Pharmacists will also form a key part of the strategy, with Irish Pharmacy Union secretary general Darragh O’Loughlin welcoming the fact they will be paid the same rate as GPs.
“The fees being paid to pharmacists are reasonable in the context of the cost of delivering the service,” he told Independent.ie.