Northern Ireland’s community pharmacies have administered 250,000 COVID-19 vaccinations as the professional teams continue to push ahead with the expanding vaccination service.

The 250,000-vaccine milestone encompasses the primary and booster vaccinations administered since the sector’s inclusion in the vaccination programme in March 2021.

Community pharmacy is now the main provider of first and second COVID-19 vaccination doses as well as delivering the booster vaccination to those eligible through community pharmacy (currently those aged over 30 and three months on from their second vaccine dose).

Currently, over 250 community pharmacies are providing the Moderna booster vaccination for all those who are eligible.

Chief Executive of Community Pharmacy NI, Gerard Greene said:

“Reaching this significant milestone is a credit to the work and dedication of our community pharmacy teams. The network joined the vaccination programme back in March and since then has been working incredibly hard to maximise the levels of protection against COVID-19 across our communities. Administering 250,000 vaccines in nine months shows the value of accessible and convenient community pharmacy locations and community pharmacy teams have played a significant role in getting overall numbers to where they are today. During the recent Community Pharmacy ‘Big Jab Weekend’ over sixty local pharmacies vaccinated over 11,000 people with their COVID-19 vaccine or booster, which is a tremendous achievement.

“As we approach some of the busiest weeks in the year for community pharmacy, our pharmacy teams will be working hard to dispense the medicines patients will need for the Christmas and new year holiday periods. I would ask the public to be patient as this may affect the availability of the COVID-19 vaccination service at some community pharmacies in the lead up to and over the festive season.”

Sean Grimley, community pharmacist at Pharmacy Plus said:

“As a community pharmacist, I’ve seen daily the benefit of providing the COVID-19 vaccine to those living locally in the community. Community pharmacy is the first choice for many in our neighborhoods, including the elderly and those unable to travel, due to our convenient location and the fact that patients trust us. It has been really encouraging to be able to provide primary and booster jabs to our patients and support them throughout this period.

“Working in the community, we are live to the concerns from patients in relation to increased COVID-19 transmissibility and ease of access to vaccines which is why it is so important that we continue to provide all doses required to give the maximum protection possible and allay the concerns patients might have.”

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