President, Irish Pharmacy Union
Irish community pharmacies are preparing to play an active role in the COVID booster and flu vaccination campaigns which are due to begin in the coming weeks.
Seasonal flu vaccination and COVID-19 booster shots are set to be made available as we approach the winter, providing dual protection against these two serious respiratory viruses.
Dermot Twomey, President of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) says, “Pharmacies have administered almost 300,000 COVID-19 vaccinations in recent months. We are ready to play our part in ensuring that our older and more vulnerable citizens are provided with this extra level of protection against COVID-19.
Protecting the community
Mr Twomey also urges everyone to register for a flu vaccine in the coming flu season, “We have all seen the damage a virus can do when it takes hold in our community. Flu remains a serious threat and we all have a duty to protect against it.
“Pharmacists have been administering the flu vaccine for the last 10 years. Last flu season, over 300,000 people were vaccinated by their local pharmacist. Just as Irish people registered in their millions for COVID-19 vaccines, we hope to see a strong level of enthusiasm to protect against this perennial flu threat.
Pharmacies across Ireland have proven their immense value to their communities by their success in the vaccination programme.
Local vaccination services
“As many people will have already experienced, pharmacies offer a highly convenient vaccination service. They are available in local communities, without the need to travel or join long queues. Pharmacies offer services from early morning to late evening and on weekends. They are consistently rated as the easiest to access component of our health system. This convenience will be an asset in these vaccination campaigns.”
Value of pharmacists in COVID-19 response
Mr Twomey commends the role played by pharmacies in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout since they began vaccinating last June, “Pharmacies across Ireland have proven their immense value to their communities by their success in the vaccination programme. Since the first vaccines were approved, we have been calling for them to be available in pharmacies and, when called upon by the HSE, the community pharmacy sector has delivered and will continue to do so.
“The gradual return to normality has come about thanks to the success of the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, helped by the participation of pharmacies across the country. Pharmacies are delighted to be playing a central role in vaccinating communities. We look forward to playing a central role in the rollout of both the COVID-19 booster vaccine and the influenza vaccine ahead of the winter flu season” concludes Mr Twomey.