Several Kildare TDs and Senators back #bestshot campaign to have Covid-19 vaccines available in local pharmacies

Senan Hogan

Reporter:

Senan Hogan

Kildare petition launched to 'Save lives, businesses and our future - get the vaccine out'

Support the #bestshot campaign

Several Kildare TDs and Senators have backed a high-profile #bestshot campaign by the Leinster Leader and KildareNow to make the Covid-19 vaccines available in local pharmacies.

People are being urged to sign a petition to the Minister for Health, Stephen Donnelly so the people of Kildare can let the government know that they believe that the vaccine should be delivered straight to our local communities - through our local pharmacies.

Fine Gael TD Bernard Durkan said: 

"I am happy to support every possible avenue to facilitate the distribution of the Covid-19 vaccine by the maximum number of routes possible in keeping with expert advice and medical requirements.

"Every effort to facilitate early distribution of Covid-19 vaccines should be welcomed and supported with a view to making the vaccines available as widely as possible in the shortest time possible and in keeping with best practice.

 "I am glad to offer support to the campaign to involve as many professionals as possible in the distribution and provision of the Covid-19 vaccine with the guidance and expertise of pharmacies, GPs, doctors, nurses or other approved medical practitioners."

Senator Vincent P Martin of the Green Party said:

"I confirm I support this excellent initiative. Well done. I will sign the online petition."

TD and Ceann Comhairle Seán Ó Fearghaíl said: 

"It is my understanding that the intention is to make Covid-19 vaccines available through pharmacies and general practice, and this approach has my full support."

Senator Fiona O'Loughlin (Fianna Fáil) said: 

"I am  supportive of Pharmacists being included in the rollout along with GPs, as part of the national rollout and logistical schedule.

"We are all vulnerable until we are vaccinated, and in the meantime we are relying on everyone exercising their own personal responsibility about staying safe, staying home, washing hands, wearing masks and exercising social distancing."

With soaring cases and hospital admissions, the need for an effective vaccine rollout to see our community open up once again will be vital.

Brian Keyes, Editorial Operations Director for the Iconic Newspapers firm which owns KildareNow and the Leinster Leader, said: 

“Talking to all our editors, while Covid-19 is dominating news coverage, and will continue to do so, with a vaccine there is hope. But many believe that it could be done better, that we are lagging behind and want more information on what is happening. It is obvious why we need a vaccine. We now know what needs to be done. It’s all about the how and the when now.” 

“We need to put our communities front and centre in this roll out, and that means local pharmacies. They are still open, still there for locals, and they have a proven track record with administering the flu vaccine. Between pharmacists and GP’s, 1.1m flu vaccines have been administered since September last. They are trusted, and that’s important. They need PPE, they need to be informed and they need to lead the charge.

“We can’t be left behind, in particular our rural communities. In many villages, a pharmacy is one of the few places open, and it’s important for communities. The Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine will hopefully be here in a matter of weeks, but we need to plan now, we need to give people hope and the government needs to get our pharmacies involved right away,” he added.

“It’s the only thing people are talking about, and there is frustration when we see roll outs in other countries moving ahead at pace. We know what we can do here and the potential that pharmacies in particular have to the roll out is. We need to get back to meeting family and friends again, to playing together again, back to school, opening up our businesses again. Enjoying the simple pleasures. We have started a petition, calling for our pharmacies to lead the charge in getting this vaccine to our communities.

You can comment on our Facebook, or follow us on Twitter - #bestshot.