A range of vaccines to protect against Coronavirus or COVID-19 are now available in Ireland. Fortune’s Pharmacy will be a Vaccine Administration Location (VAL) in Wexford working as part of the national vaccination programme. Our pharmacists have extensive vaccination experience and will receive comprehensive and specialist training in the Covid-19 programme.
What do vaccines do?
Vaccines are used to stimulate your body to produce antibodies. Antibodies are one of the body’s main defences against infections. Vaccines contain bacteria or viruses that have been weakened so that they do not cause illness. Newer types of vaccines, such as some of those that will be used to protect against COVID-19, work by instructing the body to produce proteins similar to those contained on the outside of the virus.
What will be required of the COVID-19 vaccine?
Like all medicines the COVID-19 vaccine will need to have high levels of quality, safety and efficacy. Quality is inbuilt into the manufacturing process, while safety and efficacy are measured during clinical trials. Safety looks at the side effects of the vaccine and efficacy looks at how well the vaccine protects against COVID-19. While there will always be risks of side effects, the aim is to get a vaccine which gives excellent protection while having as few potential side effects as possible.
Who will get the vaccine?
The Government has announced the order in which Irish people will be vaccinated as part of phased roll-out.
- People aged 65 years and older residing in long-term care facilities
- Frontline healthcare workers
- People aged 70 and older
- Other healthcare workers not in direct patient contact
- People age 65 to 69
- Key workers
- People aged 18 to 64 with certain medical conditions
- Residents of long-term care facilities aged 18 to 64
- People aged 18 to 64 living or working in crowded settings
- Key workers in essential jobs who cannot avoid a high risk of exposure
- People working in the education sector
- People aged 55 to 64
- Other workers in occupations important to the functioning of society
- Other people aged 18 to 54
- People aged under 18 and pregnant women.
Further details on these groups are available here.
How will the vaccine be distributed?
The vaccine will be distributed in hospitals and healthcare facilities, nursing homes, mass vaccination centres, GP surgeries and pharmacies. Fortune’s Pharmacy will be involved later on in the vaccination programme as part of the mass ramp-up and open access stages of the roll-out. We will be vaccinating people aged up to 69 years. Persons aged 70 years and older will be vaccinated by their GP.
Will there be a charge for the vaccine?
The vaccine will be free of charge for all people.
How many doses will be needed?
Most of the vaccines will require two doses to be given. Some of the vaccines in development need only one dose.
Will a vaccine mean the end of COVID-19?
A successful vaccine is just one weapon in the war against COVID-19. Social distancing, mask wearing, cough and hand hygiene, testing and contact tracing are likely to be with us for quite some a while. Only time will tell if the vaccine makes a huge dent in this disease. We don’t know if future virus mutations might mean that the vaccine will have to be further modified to keep pace. If we can’t fully eliminate COVID-19 then we hope that a successful vaccine will make it easier for all of us to live our daily lives while managing the disease.
Where can I get more information?
Useful places to find up to date information on the vaccine and the fight against COVID-19 include the World Health Organization and the Health Service Executive websites. This page will be updated as further information becomes available.
How do I book my vaccine?
All details on how to book your vaccine will be posted as soon as we have them.