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Pharmacies give vaccine rollout a shot in the arm

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PHARMACIES in Clare have been helping to give a shot in the arm to the national vaccine roll out effort. A number of pharmacies throughout the county have recently started administering the Covid-19 vaccines as part of the national programme.
A total of 17 pharmacies spanning across the entire county from Kilkee to Corbally have begun offering the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine, also known as Janssen.
Among them is Rochford’s Pharmacies with branches in Ennis and Corofin. Pharmacist Brendan Rochford said there has already been a lot of interest from the public in getting the jab.
He says that the vaccination service was quick to take off at the pharmacy.
“We already had a list of people who booked their appointment before we even received the vaccines last Thursday evening, so we started our first administrations as soon as possible on Friday morning.”
He added, “We are delighted to be able to play our small part in the rollout of the vaccine programme”.
Brendan explained, “The vaccine that pharmacies have been selected to administer is the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) vaccine which has the advantage of being a single shot vaccine rather than  two doses.
“NIAC has selected this vaccine to only be administered to those over 50 years of age. And while the majority of over-50s have already been vaccinated there are still people in this age category who for one reason or another have not yet received their vaccine.  Some people may have been unsure and wanted to wait and see how others got on before deciding to be vaccinated themselves. We have also had some who specifically wanted the one-shot Janssen vaccine and came to us for that reason.”
He said everyone who received their vaccine from the pharmacy was very happy with how efficient the process had been. 
“People can make an appointment and receive their vaccine locally and it is all done in one visit.”
He confirmed that there are still some who are hesitant to be vaccinated.
“We have had a lot of others who came in to discuss the vaccine with our pharmacists but are still unsure – and we understand that. If and when they decide they want they receive the vaccine we will be happy to facilitate them.”
The HSE has set-up a dedicated webpage showing the participating pharmacies around the country, which can be viewed by county, making it easier to find the nearest location offering the vaccine.

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