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 a risk 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.
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.
Is the vaccine mandatory?
The vaccine is not mandatory. However, getting the vaccine will help to protect you and your loved ones from Coronavirus. It will also help to speed up the getting the country back to normal.
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. You should start to get prepared by finding out your PPS Number (PPSN). Your PPSN can be found in several places. You may have a Public Services Card, a Medical Card, or correspondence from Revenue, for example. These will all list your PPSN. You may also be asked to produce evidence of age.
Where can I find my PPSN?
You can find your PPSN on the following documents –
- Public Services Card
- Medical Card or GP Visit Card
- European Health Insurance Card
- Drugs Payment Scheme Card
- Payslip from your employer
- Correspondence from Revenue or the Department of Social Protection
If you don’t have your PPSN you should make every effort to locate it due to the public health emergency. If you still cannot find it please contact the Department of Social Protection at 071 967 2616 or 1890 927 999.
Why do we need your PPSN?
We are required by law to collect and transmit a record of your vaccination to the HSE. Your PPSN forms part of the information we need to send. It is used to assist in retrieving a unique Individual Health Identifier (IHI) from the National Register of Individual Health Identifiers.