Pharmacies to give 18-34 year olds vaccines from today 3 months ago

Pharmacies to give 18-34 year olds vaccines from today

The rollout kicks off today.

Pharmacies across the country are beginning their rollout of COVID-19 vaccines for 18-34 year olds.

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750 pharmacies have started administering the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson to this age group, with only one shot needed for full protection.

18 to 34 year olds will be able to avail of the Astra Zeneca jab from next week, but for now it's only the one shot.

When it comes to the Astra Zeneca jab, two shots are needed but the time frame has been reduced to four weeks in hopes to ramp up the rollout.

Darragh O'Loughlin from the Irish Pharmacy Union told Newstalk that he hopes pharmacies prioritise the jabs based on risk level.

He said: "Everybody aged between 18 and 34 is equally eligible for the vaccine.

"The same goes for anyone over 50 who can still obtain the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccination in a pharmacy."

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He also noted that pharmacies will be prioritising people based on when they registered, but those over 50 will likely be given priority over the younger age group.

There has been a huge uptake in the vaccine among this age group, with the Irish Pharmacy Union saying 10 calls of interest were made per vaccine available.

O'Loughlin added that there is a shortage in supply, so 18 to 34 year olds may be waiting longer than expected for their vaccine.

He said: "I would say there is about 10 enquiries for every vaccine that's available, so unfortunately a lot of people won't get an appointment in the first tranche but people who have left their name and number with a pharmacy can be assured that as more vaccines become available.

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"As the HSE distributes more vaccines out to pharmacies, a pharmacy will get in touch with them and offer them an appointment as soon as possible."

There is a list of all participating pharmacies on the HSE's website, which you can find here.