John Slowey and Ryan Jones at the opening of RJS Pharmacy, Drumshambo
Three Leitrim pharmacies have now pledged their support to the #Bestshot campaign by Leitrim Observer and Iconic Newspapers to have the Covid-19 vaccines administered by local pharmacists directly into the communities.
It is now accepted that the need for an effective vaccine roll-out is vital for our communities to open up once again.
To that end, we in the Leitrim Observer and our colleagues throughout Ireland in the Iconic group, have started a petition to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly so the people of Leitrim can let the government know that they believe that the vaccine should be delivered straight to our local communities - through our local pharmacies.
Olivia Faughnan from C&D Medical Hall in Mohill said she "definitely supports the campaign." She said her pharmacy team in Mohill is ready to store and administer the new vaccine.
C&D Medical Hall, Mohill
She said the vaccine needs to be rolled out locally and quickly so "we can all get back to normality." She noted that this lockdown has effected people much more than the others as it has been over Winter. She said she hopes the new vaccine arrives soon and roll out begins earnestly.
John Slowey from RJS Pharmacy in Drumshanbo said they are already planning for the roll of the vaccine. He is 100% behind the Leitrim Observer campaign and says they are "fully trained" to administer the vaccine. Once it can be stored at normal temperature, they are ready for it. He said pharmacies can ensure a quick and safe delivery of the Covid fighting vaccine to the local community. "Then we can throw a big party," he concluded.
Ealier today, Fintan Cox, owner of Cox's Pharmacy, Bridge Street and Hartley Business Park, Carrick-on-Shannon stated he is fully behind the campaign and said he has two pharmacists trained and waiting on the green light to administer the vaccines in the coming weeks and months.
Fintan said all they are waiting on now is approval and a supply of vaccine.
With the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine currently being delivered throughout the country, the need to speed up the process is real and Fintan is hopeful the AstraZeneca vaccine will be approved by the end of January.
Fintan said he was encouraged by Secretary General of the Irish Pharmacy Union, Darragh O'Loughlin's view this morning that pharmacists could potentially administer 500,000 doses of the vaccine in 6 weeks if given the opportunity and supply to do so.
To back the growing national campaign sign the petition here.