Birr pharmacist Patrick Mulholland has lent his support the Iconic Newspapers petition to accelerate vaccine roll out via our local and trusted pharmacies.
"The roll out is too slow and definitely needs to be sped up," he told the Tribune. "Part of the problem is the rate of supply from the big pharmaceutical companies. The supply rate is too slow. The EU should also speed up its approval process for the AstraZeneca vaccine.
"What needs to happen are mass vaccinations. The sooner we see that happening the better. They could be done in big town halls. Places like Marian Hall in Birr would be perfect for it."
While Patrick thinks pharmacies and GP surgeries should be administering the vaccines sooner rather than later he pointed out that some pharmacies have been through a tough 2020 and don't have enough staff to administer vaccines.
"Some pharmacies would love to administer the inoculations but it will be logistically impossible for them to do so because of shortage of staff. Those pharmacies which do carry out the inoculations will obviously have to be vaccinated themselves first, because if a staff member comes down with Covid then the shop will have to close and people be laid off."
Patrick added that it's frustrating to see us lagging behind other jurisdictions such as Northern Ireland.
"The staff in a lot of pharmacies in Northern Ireland have already been inoculated, but not one staff member in the Republic has got a jab. People are justifiably asking questions about that."
He said one of the reasons Israel is flying ahead with the roll out is because they don't have the paperwork which we have to deal with here in Ireland. "Every vaccination process in Ireland has to be uploaded onto a computer," he remarked. "That's time consuming. We need to get rid of these bureaucratic habits, adopt more of a warlike footing and open mass vaccination centres."
This week the Tullamore Tribune, Midland Tribune and Offaly Express launched an online campaign and petition backing local pharmacies to deliver the Covid 19 vaccines to our communities - and we need you to sign up!
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