Update on recent "COVID-19 vaccine at the pharmacy" changes
Posted by Eamonn Brady on
Local pharmacies can now administer Covid-19 vaccines to 18-to-34-year olds
Since Monday 5th July, pharmacies including many Westmeath can supply the Janssen (Johnson & Johnson) single-dose Vaccine to 18 - 34-year-olds as well as over 50’s. People do not need to register on hse.ie but you need an appointment with the pharmacy. There is currently a limited supply available. As more vaccines become available, pharmacies will be able to issue more appointments.
Additionally, from Friday July 9th, the HSE vaccine portal at www.hse.ie has been open to 30 to 34-year-olds so this age group will be able to register for other vaccines (including Pfizer) at vaccination centres in the coming weeks.
Pharmacist Eamonn Brady from Whelehans Pharmacies in Mullingar explains “since Friday July 2nd when the minister for Health announced pharmacies can supply Janssen (J&J) vaccines to 18- to 34-year-old, pharmacies have been inundated with phone calls to book with many pharmacies getting 10 calls for every vaccine in stock. There are 550,000 people aged 18 to 29 year old and 250,000 people aged 30 to 34 in Ireland so that is 800,000 people in Ireland eligible to get the vaccine, with 850 pharmacies participating in the vaccination programme being allocated 120,000 vaccines over the coming weeks and an additional 200,000 doses of the Jansen vaccine coming in to the country in the following weeks, if your pharmacy cannot to get to vaccinate you in the next week or two, they will do their best to get you vaccinated in the following weeks”
Mr Brady went on to say that “demand is biggest from the 18- to 24-year-old age cohort as they have the longest to wait via the HSE vaccine portal, perhaps until September, so many would like to get through pharmacy earlier. The convenience of the one-shot vaccine is a big draw too. Most just want to get back to a normal social life and be allowed indoor drinks in the next few weeks and many want to travel, with many enquiries from young people needing vaccinating before studying abroad on the likes of the Erasmus later this summer, so they can’t wait for the HSE portal.”
Breda Heneghan, vaccinating pharmacist at Whelehans Pharmacies explains that “28 days after the Janssen (J&J) vaccine has an efficacy of 85% against severe disease and hospitalization. Even better news in updates released on July 1st, the Janssen vaccine showed excellent effectiveness against new Covid-19 variants including the Delta (Indian) and B1.351 (Brazilian) variant and separate new research shows the Janssen vaccine protects against COVID-19 including new variants for at least 8 months, in fact, this immunity was shown to improve with time rather than wane.”
To book a vaccine through your pharmacy, you can contact them direct. A list of participating pharmacies is on www.hse.ie