Concern that Longford pharmacists are being overlooked during a respiratory crisis

Flaherty calls on Minister and HSE to address concerns over inclusion of local pharmacists and staff in vaccine rollout

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Concern that Longford pharmacists are being overlooked during a respiratory crisis

Fianna Fáil TD for Longford-Westmeath Joe Flaherty

Fianna Fáil TD for Longford Westmeath, Joe Flaherty has raised concerns about the inclusion of local pharmacists and pharmacy staff in the vaccine rollout.  

The Longford TD stated that he understands there is an issue with the rollout of vaccines for pharmacy staff in the four counties of Longford, Westmeath, Laois and Offaly. 

Deputy Flaherty commented, “It seems that pharmacists and pharmacy staff in many other health regions are now vaccinated, or the process is almost complete, but yet only a handful of those in the sector have been called locally.” 

Pharmacists were in Schedule 2A of the rollout and staff in Schedule 2D and the Longford TD has been in touch with pharmacists across the region over the past 48 hours, adding that “the sector locally is being overlooked during a respiratory crisis”. 

Deputy Flaherty continued: “Local pharmacists and staff would have registered with the HSE for the vaccine as advised on February 9. These are an important bank of healthcare workers who have remained open and continue to deal with the general public in a non-regulated environment with unscheduled visits from members of the public who are unwell.” 

He added: “They have done this for the past year and are often consulting with very sick and vulnerable patients. They stepped up to the plate when required. They administered the flu vaccine before Christmas and have delivered medication to nursing homes, the homes of the elderly and palliative patients.” 

The Longford TD said he is aware that the Irish Pharmaceutical Union have concerns about the delay in the rollout locally and he has called on the Minister for Health and Midlands HSE to address the matter without delay.