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15 pharmacies to begin administering Covid vaccines 'towards the end' of this month

The HSE is set to update the Oireachtas Health Committee on the Covid-19 vaccine rollout later today.
Apr 20th 2021, 6:45 AM 47,835 35

A NUMBER OF pharmacies will begin administering Covid-19 vaccines “towards the end” of this month, an Oireachtas Health Committee will hear later today. 

The HSE will tell the committee that to date, 1,502 people have been recruited as vaccinators through national campaigns, who have either started or are ready to start once drawn down by vaccination centres. 

The HSE will outline that it is continuing to recruit for vaccinators and there are an additional 2,404 people still in the national recruitment process. 

The committee will also be updated on pharmacists’ role in the vaccination programme. 

The HSE has been working with the pharmacy sector in recent months, including representatives from the Irish Pharmacy Union and the Pharmaceutical Society of Ireland to enable community pharmacists to join the programme as vaccinations, the committee will be told. 

An expression of interest process has been issued to the pharmacy sector to determine those that would be in a position to join the programme, according to the HSE. 

In addition, a technology solution has been developed to allow pharmacists to work with the programme. 

This is due for trial with 15 pharmacies “towards the end” of this month, the HSE will brief the committee. 

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The committee will also hear that the restriction on the use of the AstraZeneca vaccine to those over the age of 60 has had a “significant impact” on the vaccination programme. 

The HSE will also outline to the committee that it “very much regrets incidents in which individuals received their first dose of vaccine outside of the agreed sequence of government allocation groupings”. 

“However, once the first dose has been given the HSE is ethically obliged to complete the vaccination according to the manufacturer’s instructions in the absence of any contraindication,” the HSE will tell the committee. 

The HSE’s Chief Clinical Officer Dr Colm Henry and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee’s (NIAC) chairperson Professor Karina Butler are due before the Health Committee at 3.30pm today. 

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