Pharmacies see high demand for vaccines

The community pharmacy network across Northern Ireland has administered over 35,000 Covid-19 vaccines in the first weeks of the roll-out.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 8:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 10:12 am

At the end of March, 340 community pharmacies were given the green light to begin inoculating the public against Covid-19.

In a ringing endorsement of the sector, in the first week of the vaccine rollout, Health minister Robin Swann received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at a community pharmacy.

Mr Swann (pictured) announced on March 31 that he was “delighted” to have received the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab at Ballee Pharmacy where it was administered to him by Stephen Burns, community pharmacist.

Health Minister, Robin Swann MLA receives his first Covid-19 vaccine from Stephen Burns, community pharmacist at Ballee Pharmacy, Ballymena.

Since the roll-out local pharmacies have seen a high demand for the vaccine, with many running out of their allocated supply within the first two weeks of the roll-out. Local pharmacies are hoping to see a greater supply of the vaccine delivered to them in coming weeks as current levels of the AstraZeneca vaccine are low.

Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy Northern Ireland, Gerard Greene said: “Bringing community pharmacy into the Covid-19 vaccination programme has vastly improved access to the vaccine on the high streets of our towns, cities, and villages throughout Northern Ireland.

“Patients have had the option to receive their vaccine from a convenient and familiar health care professional, that they know and trust.

“The feedback we have been receiving is that patients really welcome the vaccine being available from pharmacies and that is tremendous endorsement for the service.”

To find your closest vaccinating community pharmacy: https://covid-19.hscni.net/community-pharmacy-covid-19-vaccination-service/