Pharmacist Amy Whelan of Clonminch Pharmacy Tullamore
THE uptake of the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) one shot Covid vaccine for the over 50s appears to be poor in Tullamore.
Among the pharmacists taking part in the scheme, some are reporting no calls at all from the over 50s age group. However, there is interest from the younger cohort of 30 and 40 year olds, many of whom are attracted by the requirement for one dose only. Unfortunately pharmacies are only allowed to administer the vaccine to the over 50s.
At Clonminch Pharmacy on the outskirts of town, 5 people received their vaccine last Monday, June 21. But pharmacist Amy Whelan said one vial contains 5 doses of the vaccine and once opened it lasts just three hours. "We have to have 5 people ready. Then the times have to suit everybody and us as well," said Amy.
Meanwhile, Pettit's Pharmacy in Clara is also partaking in the vaccination programme. However, they didn't receive their supply until last Monday while most others got their stock the previous week.
Pharmacist Lisa Byrne believes many people don't realise they are administering the vaccine.
"We have had a few calls'' said Lisa, "but most of those are from people in their late 40s."
Pettit's has received 10 vials which will allow 50 people to be vaccinated.
Lisa believes the three-hour time frame for the delivery of five vaccines is problematic. "We will probably have to have six people ready to be vaccinated in case one cancels," she said.
Most of the pharmacists are disappointed that they are not allowed to vaccinate a wider age group.
Speaking in Tullamore last week, chief executive officer of the HSE Paul Reid said there will be a role in the future for pharmacists to administer the mRNA vaccines, both Moderna and Pfizer. He also said booster vaccines will be introduced in the future and pharmacists will play a key role in the delivery of that. He stressed that pharmacists are there for those in the over 50 category who failed to register for the vaccine at one of the vaccination centres around the country.
Those taking part in the programme in Offaly include:
Aidan Walsh Allcare Pharmacy, Ferbane.
Butler's Pharmacy, Main Street, Birr
Carragher Pharmacy, High Street, Tullamore
Clonminch Pharmacy, Clonminch Road, Tullamore
Haven Pharmacy Faheys, Patrick Street, Tullamore
Peter Fox Pharmacy, O'Connell Street, Birr
Pettit's Allcare Pharmacy, The Square Clara
Quinn's Pharmacy, Beech Unit, Granary Court Edenderry, Offaly
Rose Finlay's Totalhealth Pharmacy, Main Street, Tullamore.
Stratus Healthcare Pharmacy, Tullamore Primary Care Centre, Church View Tullamore.
A judge has tonight ordered the arrest of a banned motorist who phoned an ambulance for himself in the middle of a court hearing which subsequently found him guilty of a string of road traffic offences.
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