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Irish Pharmacy Union welcomes ability to give flu vaccine off-site

Pharmacists will be able to give people the flu jab outside the pharmacy premises.

Image: Shutterstock/alessandro guerriero

THE DECISION BY Health Minister Stephen Donnelly to allow pharmacists to deliver vaccines outside the premises of the pharmacy has been welcomed by the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU). 

Earlier today, the Irish Times reported that the minister is bringing forward plans to allow pharmacists to administer vaccines in peoples’ homes and cars.

Donnelly will amend existing legislation to allow the introduction of this practice.

Speaking to media today, the minister said: “We want this to be the biggest flu vaccination programme the State has ever seen. So we are incentivising [pharmacists] to go out there, set up off-site clinics and do what you think needs to be done to reach out to vulnerable groups.”

The government gives €15 per flu jab administered plus an additional €100 per 10 people who receive the vaccine. 

“And really what we wanted to see is exactly what the pharmacists are now doing is saying look, we don’t want you to just wait in your pharmacy or in your GP practice for people to come in to you,” Donnelly said. 

The IPU described the announcement as a “game changer”. 

The secretary general of the IPU Darragh O’Loughlin said pharmacies have been calling for this decision for years. 

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“We need to do all we can to keep people safe from the flu and protect our health system from its impact,” O’Loughlin said.

He added that this is “more important than every before” this winter with the circulation of both Covid-19 and the flu. 

“Broadening the locations where pharmacists can vaccinate will significantly increase uptake and will help build immunity from flu among the population,” he said. 

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