Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle calls on Minister to ensure pharmacists are part of Covid vaccine roll-out

Pringle calls on Minister to ensure pharmacists are part of Covid vaccine roll-out

Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle, has called on the Minister for Health to ensure that pharmacists are part of the roll-out of the Covid-19 vaccine programme.

Deputy Pringle also said pharmacists and their staff must also be included in the early roll-out of the vaccine.

Deputy Pringle said that given that the National Immunisation Advisory Committee strategy outlined that frontline health care workers should be vaccinated as a matter of priority, the delay in vaccinating pharmacists and their staff was “very worrying”.

Deputy Pringle said: “It is vital that pharmacists, with their network across our rural communities, are part of the roll-out of the vaccine programme and the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) and pharmacists understand the vital part they will play in the fight against Covid-19.”

He said while the IPU had received assurances that pharmacists would be included in the community vaccination plans, along with local GPs, there has been no process to facilitate vaccinations of pharmacists and their staff.

There is now a two-month delay in getting pharmacies ready for helping to roll out community vaccination plans, Deputy Pringle said.

The deputy said: “Our pharmacies provide an essential service and have been open and serving our communities throughout this pandemic.

“Clearly, if pharmacists are to be fully involved in the mass vaccination programme, they will have to be vaccinated before participating.”

Deputy Pringle facilitated an online meeting last Friday, February 5th, between himself, other Donegal TDs and Healthwise pharmacies in Donegal. As a result of the meeting, Deputy Pringle and other Donegal Oireachtas members have sent a letter to the Minister, calling on the Minister to ensure that pharmacists are part of the roll-out of the vaccine programme and that pharmacists and their staffs are included in the early roll-out of the vaccine.

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