‘We have 300 people on our waiting lists in our three pharmacies’

As pharmacies begin vaccinations, many are unsure when more supplies will be delivered

Danielle Fleming, Moughans Pharmacy, Lower Newcastle Road, Galway:  “There are not enough doses and we don’t know when we will receive more.”

Danielle Fleming, Moughans Pharmacy, Lower Newcastle Road, Galway: “There are not enough doses and we don’t know when we will receive more.”

 

Moughan’s Pharmacy on Lower Newcastle Road in Galway had vaccinated a dozen people with the single shot Janssen Covid-19 jab by mid-morning on Monday, and was fully booked out for the rest of the day.

“There are not enough doses and we don’t know when we will receive more. It could be next week, or in three weeks’ time, we don’t know,” said Danielle Fleming, adding that they have 100 people on the waiting list.

In Eyre Square, the situation was the same in Leo Walsh’s pharmacy, where assistant Jenny Carberry said: “There’s a huge amount of interest, so it’s a bit difficult, but people are aware of it so they’re understanding.”

Like Moughan’s, stock will run out quickly: “We have enough only for the end of this week, but there are more to come. The last three days have been crazy, I’d say we have 300 people on our waiting lists in our three pharmacies.”

Pharmacist Matt O’Flaherty on William Street is not getting supplies until Tuesday morning. Assistant Lorna Murphy said they had to close their phone lines “because they never stopped ringing”.

In Pat Hogan’s Total Health pharmacy on Fr Griffin Ave, Neil Gallagher said they have 400 people on the waiting list but they had been told they would not get stocks until mid-July.

Registration of interest

Megan Lydon (18), speaking in the Eyre Square shopping centre, has not booked a vaccination but is glad that they are now on offer to younger people. Saying that she wasn’t too worried about the Covid-19 Delta variant because so many people have been vaccinated, she said the Government had done “pretty well” during the crisis.

Canadian-born Katherine Ivey (25), who is in Ireland on a three-year volunteering programme, said she had not booked her vaccine because she was unsure of the rules. She is happy that registration has opened up for 18-34 year olds, but said she is not sure that it would mean faster vaccination in practice: “People will get the vaccine in August of September, anyway.”

However, she believed younger people should have been sent to the mass vaccination centres already in use: “It’s a big location, so they can do more people at the time, and it’s faster.”

Managing expectations

In Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin, Genevieve McDonald in Burnett’s Pharmacy said she had to draft in an extra member of staff on Friday after the Government announcement was made. So far, she is unsure about supplies: “We’re taking registration of interest, as opposed to making bookings, because we aren’t aware of the supply we’re getting.

“We were told we’re getting 50 vaccines delivered at the end of this week, however, after that we don’t know how many we’ll get in,” said McDonald, who has been vaccinating over-50s, too, though there was not much demand.

“It was like we were catching people who had slipped through the net for whatever reason. Demand wasn’t anything like it is now for 18-34 year olds. It obviously takes a lot of organisation,” she said.

The Dún Laoghaire pharmacy handles 1,000 flu vaccines every winter: “So we would hope to certainly be able to play our part in this,” she said.

“A lot of this will be about managing people’s expectations,” she said, adding that they have stopped taking new bookings because they have 400 people on the waiting list.