A vaccine is now available to protect against the coronaviruses H1N1 and H3N2, which have killed more than a million people in the past two years.
The vaccine, named CIM-2, is being developed in partnership with the Irish pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, which is one of the largest manufacturers of influenza vaccines in the world.
It is a first for a vaccine that has been developed in Ireland.
The first batch of CIMs is now on the shelves of pharmacies and pharmacies will be able to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
Dr Tom Whelan, director of the National Health Research Institute (NHERI), which developed the vaccine, said it would protect against both H1 and B viruses.
The Irish government announced in October it would invest in developing and distributing the vaccine.
It would help Ireland prevent another pandemic in the future.
“This is a very exciting time for all of us and we want to be able help as many people as we can and to be as prepared as we possibly can,” Dr Whela said.
“We will do our utmost to be prepared to take this vaccine and to ensure that it is fully effective and safe for the people of Ireland.”
Dr Whelen said there was a lot of uncertainty surrounding the vaccines safety and effectiveness.
“It is important to make sure that we are taking every precautionary step to ensure the safety and security of our citizens and patients,” he said.
Dr Whellan said that the vaccine was being developed by GlaxosmithKline as part of a larger effort to address the pandemic.
“These are exciting times for the vaccine industry, for us and for our customers,” he added.
“The development of CIV-02 is an important step in our efforts to increase the effectiveness of our vaccines in reducing the risk of H1A and H1B pandemic viruses in the Irish market.”
The company said the vaccine is not intended for people younger than 60 years old, people who have a family history of H3 and H2, or people with pre-existing health conditions.
“While there is a risk for some patients who are aged 60 and older to experience adverse reactions to the vaccine and should be monitored closely, these reactions are extremely rare and have occurred only once in the last two years,” it said.
The government has said it expects to have the vaccine on the markets by the end of the year.