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Sean Hurst in his pharmacy at Kilkee. Photograph by John Kelly

Clare pharmacists in the dark over future vaccine supply

Champion Chatter

CLARE pharmacists have been left in dark about future vaccine deliveries for young people in the 18 to 34-year old cohort, writes Dan Danaher.
Sean Hurst of Hurst Pharmacy Kilkee expects to get another delivery of between 100 to 150 vaccines on Monday week, having spoken to a HSE representative.
Mr Hurst pointed out pharmacies don’t choose or order vaccines and noted the HSE will be monitoring the administration of vaccines in pharmacies once they are recorded on a central system to see how fast they are being given.
Speaking to the Clare Champion, he said if pharmacies were using up their vaccine supply quickly they may get a higher allocation for their next delivery.
“The HSE’s supply chain is also limited. I have half of my vaccine delivery on Monday used up for the 18 to 34 year olds after just two days. I needed about four times what I am getting.
“Some young people have their name down for the vaccine in two or three different pharmacies. The supply isn’t as high as what we need. It is very satisfactory to be giving a one-shot vaccine to young people who are now fully vaccinated. It is a pity that we just can’t get more vaccines.
Marie Kelly of Kelly’s Pharmacy, Miltown Malbay told the Clare Champion there is up to 1,000 people on their vaccination waiting list for this young cohort.
Ms Kelly said it is difficult to know when they can administer more vaccinations as the pharmacy has received no update about their next supply.
She said it would have been helpful if the vaccinations in pharmacies were made through a central hub to avoid duplicate appointments as some young people were booking appointments in a number of pharmacies, and when they were offered a date for their jab they confirmed they had already received it elsewhere.
Holly’s Pharmacy, Ennis vaccinated 30 people on Monday and Tuesday and 40 on Saturday.
A spokeswoman for the pharmacy confirmed they have not been officially informed about when or what quantity they will be getting in their next vaccine delivery.
A spokesman for a pharmacy in South-East Clare said the pharmacy doesn’t know what it will be getting in its next batch, which are normally dispatched every two weeks.
“We are still waiting from an update from the HSE. There is a huge demand from young people for the vaccine,” he said.
A staff member from another pharmacy, which didn’t wish to be named, said they have capacity to vaccinate people and are delighted to be involved in the national vaccination programme.
He confirmed the pharmacy has no update about further vaccine supplies and stated they stopped taking names on their waiting list, as the overall number had greatly exceeded supply.
“Even if we had an indication from the HSE about the next delivery. That is what a lot of pharmacists are looking for. It would be great to get a fortnight’s notice before the next delivery.”

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