Pharmacies across Ireland at 'bare bones' with vaccine booster rollout

Mulligans Pharmacy chain in Waterford have decided to extend their booster vaccination clinic in the city on South Parade for the rest of the week due to significant demand.
Pharmacies across Ireland at 'bare bones' with vaccine booster rollout

Sarah Slater

A pharmacy chief is warning that pharmacies nationwide are 'at bare bones', and has pleaded for people to remain patient.

Mulligans Pharmacy chain in Waterford have decided to extend their booster vaccination clinic in the city on South Parade for the rest of the week due to significant demand.

However, with demands for Covid vaccinations, prescriptions, antigen testing and other run-of-the-mill services, Ronan Mulligan, managing director of the Mulligans Pharmacy chain in Waterford is warning people that they will likely experience longer waiting times than usual.

Speaking on Wlrfm Mr Mulligan said: ”Pharmacies are extremely busy - so I'd ask people to be extremely patient.

“The five to 10 minute wait for a prescription is going well into half an hour, even into an hour in some circumstances. It's because there is a lot of demand for other services, vaccinations, antigen testing - it's extremely difficult. We too have staff who have Covid and who are close contacts.

"We're literally down to bare bones, so if people could bear with us - or any other pharmacy. Do that if you can, just be patient."

Mr Mulligan says that having opened their vaccination clinic at South Parade earlier this week and seeing the levels of demand for boosters - Mulligans Pharmacy took the decision to extend the facility out for a week.

Scale of demand

"We opened our vaccine clinic early today, and I think at this stage, we've had about 220-230 people gone through. We didn't anticipate this kind of demand, so we've decided to extend it for the rest of the week. A lot of this is on account of people coming home for Christmas and just wanting to share time with their families.

"The demands over Christmas have been literally exponential. We decided to open the vaccination centre in South Parade to accommodate that demand."

The facility will operate from 9am to 5.30pm daily and will be open to all relative age cohorts, with a particular emphasis placed upon those who received a Janssen vaccine during the summer months.

"The hours of the operation will be 9am until 5.30pm We certainly will have two to three pharmacists on duty delivering the Pfizer vaccine to all the age cohorts that are mentioned. Especially, the over-16s to early 30s who received the Janssen vaccine,” added Mr Mulligan.

Demands for antigen testing have also skyrocketed over the festive period, with people taking precautions before going to events and visiting their loved ones.

Mr Mulligan said it is hoped that there will be adequate supplies to help meet these demands.

"Most of the stores were opened yesterday, and they were all snapped up. People are buying five or ten at a time. Families are together for Christmas, there is a big demand.

“All of our stores across the city will have adequate supplies when the bulk of the city opens its doors again”.

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