Over a million people in Northern Ireland have now received their first COVID-19 vaccine dose and pharmacy teams across Northern Ireland have played a key role in the roll out of this extraordinary programme. The milestone has been reached some five months after the very first COVID-19 vaccine jab was administered in Northern Ireland. It means that almost 70% of the adult population has now received their first dose.

It also comes just days after another landmark was achieved – with more than half a million already getting their second jab.

The Medicines Optimisation and Innovation Centre (MOIC) have been closely following the pharmacy response to the COVID-19 pandemic and have spent time talking to pharmacy professionals across Northern Ireland about their roles in the vaccine roll-out. The piece looks in depth at the challenges they faced and what they learned when tasked with vaccinating the region.

Throughout the last year pharmacy has been in the spotlight like never before and with Health Minister, Robin Swann, choosing to have his own vaccination at a community pharmacy, pharmacy teams across the region have shown how they have fought back in the midst of the pandemic.

In the article Dr. Maureen Spargo and Dr. Katherine O’Neill  discuss the huge sense of pride exuded by those interviewed in how the pharmacy profession has stepped up to the challenges faced by both the pandemic and vaccination programme. MOIC highlights the versatility of pharmacy across Northern Ireland and shows how pharmacy teams in community, hospital, General Practice, research, development, testing as well as commissioning services all played a key role.

Read in full here.