A Cork GP has said that he is “chomping at the bit” following the Cabinet’s decision to ramp up Covid-19 vaccinations with the aid of GPs and pharmacists.
Dr Mike Thompson of Imokilly Medical Centre in Midleton said he is delighted that a plan has finally been agreed upon to allow GPs and pharmacists administer the vaccine.
“I think we’re all chomping at the bit to get going. We are human too and we'd like to get back to normality,” he said.
He said that there will be strict protocols in place and that the provisional order in which people in Ireland are to be vaccinated will be followed, beginning with people aged 70 and over.
Our biggest fear is that there would be an announcement and our reception would be met with a tsunami of requests, so it's going to be very controlled, very scheduled, and very strict.
“We have been trusted with this by society, the Government and the HSE and it's up to GPs and pharmacists to respond to that appropriately, ethically and quickly,” he said.
He said that if it is the case that all of his patients over 70 have been vaccinated and there are some additional doses left that he will have a standby list of people that can get to him within 20 minutes and be administered with the vaccine.
“The plan is to focus on the age group first and then open it up to the general population and we have that advantage as GPs because we know who the next most vulnerable people are,” he said.
He said that time has already been spent on getting information and consent forms and seating in order as “there definitely is a 15 minute observation period after the vaccine”.
Dr Thompson hopes the HSE will roll out a national information programme where questions in relation to the vaccine would be answered centrally.
City centre pharmacist Rose Murphy of Murphy’s Pharmacy said that they are “110% behind anything that gets us to the stage of having some bit of normality back for everyone”.
“We want to do whatever it takes to get the vaccine to as many people as quickly as we can. Every person who can help is needed.
“People are anxious to get it as quickly as possible and the sooner everyone gets it the sooner the sooner we can get back to some sort of normality.
“We’re ready to go in that we vaccinate for flu as it is, any training required will be done quickly and we know what we’re doing so it's really just a matter of supplying us with the vaccine now. Our procedures are in place,” she said.