Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Pfizer vaccine is available in eight pharmacies in Carlow

The Pfizer- BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine is now available in eight pharmacies in Carlow, the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) has revealed.

In Tullow, Morgan’s Medical Hall and The Family Pharmacy are providing it. Bagenalstown Pharmacy is supplying the jab while other rural pharmacies include Hacketstown Pharmacy, Lawlor’s Pharmacy in Rathvilly and Kissanes Pharmacy chain in Graiguenamanagh, Leighlinbridge and Borris.

These pharmacies were selected due to the distance from the nearest mass vaccination centre.

The IPU is now calling for this to be extended, so that all pharmacies registered to administer Covid-19 vaccines have access to the Pfizer vaccine.

Pharmacies started vaccinating in mid-June and to date have administered over 123,000 vaccines nationwide. This has predominantly been the Janssen vaccine, available to people aged 18 to 34 and to people 50 years and older in over 950 pharmacies nationwide. A smaller number of pharmacies, chosen because of their distance to the nearest vaccine centre, are also offering the Pfizer vaccine to patients aged 18 and over, in line with the HSE Vaccination Centres.

Darragh O’Loughlin, Secretary General of the IPU said “Pharmacists are trained, experienced vaccinators and, after long campaigning to be able to vaccinate their local communities, are delighted to finally have the opportunity to support the vaccination campaign. Now the people of Carlow can receive a vaccine in the convenience and comfort of their local pharmacy. People can book an appointment directly with their local pharmacy and, when called, attend at a set time and be on their way home all within 30 minutes.

Since pharmacists began administering COVID 19 vaccines there has been universally positive feedback and a huge level of demand from all age groups. Pharmacists are delighted to be supporting this national campaign.

The ongoing level of demand will need to be matched by supply or pharmacies will be forced to suspend vaccinations. We know that supplies of the Janssen vaccine may be limited for a time, therefore we are calling for all participating pharmacies to be provided supplies of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine as well.

Now that the eligibility for vaccines has been expanded to younger age groups, the challenge of getting to vaccination centres will become amplified.  Younger people are less likely to have access to a car, often have childcare constraints and may have less flexible employment. Convenience will be key to completing the vaccination campaign and that is what local pharmacies offer.

Over half of the Irish population lives within one kilometre of a pharmacy and 85% live within 5km. Expanding pharmacy vaccinations would create over 950 vaccination locations in practically every town and village in the country.”

Darragh O’Loughlin, Secretary General of the IPU, concluded “The full reopening of our society depends on the pace of the vaccine roll-out. By utilising the proven capacity of pharmacies in full that pace can significantly increase.”

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