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Supply issue Just one J&J jab available for every 10 people on waiting lists

Some people may have put their names down in several pharmacies, which could affect waiting list numbers

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Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly

Pharmacists yesterday struggled to meet a huge demand for Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccines, with just one jab available for every 10 people on waiting lists.

Thousands of people aged 18 to 34 face a queue of up to three weeks to get the jab, although optimism rose as pharmacists are each promised deliveries of up to 100 doses this week.

Around 750 pharmacies began administering the vaccine from existing stocks yesterday but many had already used them up on the over-50s.

Darragh O'Loughlin of the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU) said: "The feedback is very positive and people are delighted. But for every 10 people who currently want a vaccine there is just one available."

Health Minister Stephen Donnelly said the HSE expects to have around 205,000 doses of the one-shot vaccine in July.

Asked how many doses pharmacists can expect in weekly deliveries, a spokesman for the HSE said: "The majority of pharmacists will be receiving 100 doses, while a small number are receiving 50 doses.

"Vaccines will be distributed to the locations with the greatest demand. This will allow people to access the vaccine quickly and we can avoid any potential wastage."

Gemma Dwyer, of the Maple Pharmacy in Cabra, Dublin, said she has temporarily closed her list at 250 but will start taking names again when more supplies arrive.

"The phone has not stopped ringing. It is positive so many people are interested. If we had supply we could vaccinate all day, every day. We could do more than 100 a week."

Some people may have put their names down in several pharmacies, which could affect waiting list numbers.

The HSE will open registration for this age group from next Monday, offering them the Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca vaccine in a vaccination centre. They can also wait until later and opt for Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.

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The HSE is looking at the logistics of transporting a promised one million doses of the Pfizer vaccine from Romania.

Unlike regular deliveries here handled by Pfizer, these will need to be conveyed through a separate HSE system, ensuring temperatures are maintained.

Once they arrive they will be administered quickly and plans are already being looked to have vaccination centres open later if needed.

To date, more than half of the adult population is fully vaccinated and 4.4 million doses have been administered.

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