Pharmacists are to begin administering the Covid-19 vaccine as the programme enters a new phase. Approximately 1,300 community pharmacists will be administering the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, with an initial 60,000 doses being distributed to them across the country.
The pharmacists will be administering the vaccine to those aged 50 and over who have not yet been vaccinated, as according to the Irish Pharmacy Union there are around 140,000 people over the age of 50 who have still not yet received their vaccine.
Registering for the vaccine online will not be required, however, people will need to book a vaccine appointment with a pharmacist, with the vaccination taking place in a separate room inside the pharmacy.
A waiting time of 15 minutes will be required after the vaccination is administered to allow time for side effects to be monitored. The J&J vaccine will be delivered to 700-800 pharmacies around the country in the coming days while the Pfizer vaccine will be delivered to a smaller number of pharmacies, predominantly those that are not too close to vaccination centres, in the next few weeks.
Chief executive at the Irish Pharmacy Union Darragh O’Loughlin stated that the HSE and the National Immunisation Advisory Committee will not yet support crossover vaccinations, which means that anyone who received their first dose of a certain vaccine must receive their second dose from the same vaccine despite research supporting crossover vaccinations.
Meanwhile, the vaccination portal for those in their 30s will be opening this week.
The HSE has listed the pharmacies that will be administering the vaccines on their website.