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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly (file photo) Brian Lawless/PA Wire/PA Images

Pharmacists to start administering Covid-19 vaccines

Stephen Donnelly said this latest development will help people who live far away from vaccine centres.

PHARMACISTS WILL START administering Covid-19 vaccines early this month, Health Minister Stephen Donnelly has said.

Donnelly told the Seanad yesterday evening that pharmacists will adminiters from this week or next.

“Where I think this is particularly important is in some of the areas that are further from the vaccination centres,” he said.

“We’re moving ever closer to meeting our goal of offering vaccinations to everyone in Ireland who wants one,” he added.

The vaccine registration portal will open for people aged 40 to 44 from tomorrow.

Pharmacists are due to get €35 per vaccine dose administered, the same figure as GPS, plus €10 for each patient who’s entered into the system.

Darragh O’Loughlin, Secretary General of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), has welcomed the news but said the HSE has yet to confirm the development with the IPU.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, O’Loughlin: “More than 1,000 pharmacies around the country have applied to vaccinate. We’ve been trying to do this for several months now, we’ve been delayed consistently by the HSE, we’re very glad to be getting started now.

“We understand that there will be a small amount of Janssen vaccines made available to pharmacies to vaccinate people aged over 50 who have missed out on or not been able to get to a vaccination centre. Subsequently mRNA vaccines or Pfizer vaccines will be made available, particularly in pharmacies that are at a distance from vaccination centres.”

O’Loughlin said this will “allow people to be vaccinated as part of the national programme in their local pharmacy, instead of having to travel however far to a distant vaccination centre”.

“People have been clamouring to get vaccinated in their local pharmacy, by their local pharmacist, and there’s been a lot of public frustration that’s just taken so long to get the vaccines delivered to pharmacies, but certainly the objective now is to vaccinate people in their local community, rather than them all having to travel to vaccination centres,” he added.

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