Cork pharmacy forced to cancel vaccine appointments due to 'electrical fault'

Cork pharmacy forced to cancel vaccine appointments due to 'electrical fault'

The IPU said current stocks of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine are diminishing nationwide and vaccination rates could be impacted. Picture Denis Minihane.

A Cork pharmacy has had to cancel Covid-19 vaccination appointments due to an electrical fault.

Boots in Bandon experienced an electrical fault which resulted in a number of vaccination appointments being cancelled, a spokesperson confirmed.

“Patients have been contacted directly by our team and rescheduled appointments will be confirmed as soon as additional vaccine stock becomes available. This is an isolated incident and no other stores have been affected,” the spokesperson said.

It comes as the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) said that all vaccinating pharmacies should be supplied with the Pfizer vaccine as soon as possible to facilitate younger people who are waiting to be vaccinated.

'Diminishing' stocks

The IPU said current stocks of the Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine are diminishing nationwide and vaccination rates could be impacted.

As of Wednesday, pharmacies in the vaccination programme have vaccinated over 150,000 people in their local communities since the service was launched in June by Health Minister Stephen Donnelly, with over 100,000 of these in the 18 to 29 age bracket.

Of the almost 1,000 participating pharmacies, all were receiving the Janssen vaccine, but stocks are now diminishing rapidly, and only about 320 pharmacies are currently administering Pfizer vaccines.

These were selected by the HSE on the basis that their communities are at a distance from HSE vaccination centres.

Call to expand pharmacy vaccine supplies 

IPU Secretary General, Darragh O’Loughlin, said that pharmacists can continue to make further strong progress if all participating pharmacies are supplied with the Pfizer vaccine.

“The strong demand and positive feedback to date has highlighted the benefits of providing vaccination in local community pharmacies. The vaccination centres have performed admirably but they have their limitations.

“Travel to vaccine centres, the potential for long queues and the overall time required could be a disincentive to some people.

“As the eligibility for vaccines now expands to younger age groups the challenges of reaching vaccination centres will become amplified for many.

“Younger people are less likely to have access to a car and may have less flexible employment. Pharmacies eliminate these concerns by providing a fast and convenient service within local communities. Accessibility and convenience will be key to completing the vaccination campaign and that is what pharmacies offer,” he said.

He said that expanding pharmacy vaccine supplies would sustain almost 1,000 vaccination locations “in practically every town and village in the country”.

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