People will be able to get Covid-19 vaccinations in local pharmacies from early April, according to the Irish Pharmacy Union.IPU secretary general Darragh OLoughlin said the move will bring relief to people who live far from the mass vaccination centres as the union estimates half the population live less than 1km from their closest pharmacy.He acknowledged the delay is hard for the public.
We are still a couple of weeks away, it will be into April,” he said.
Pharmacists are frustrated they are not yet involved. We know this is because of a supply issue. There has not been a reliable supply of AstraZeneca into the country so far. 
Pharmacists will use that vaccine rather than the Pfizer/BioNTech mRNA vaccine, as it can be stored in a normal fridge for up to six months.
Mr O’Loughlin urged the health minister to act on the supply issues.
To avoid any further delays, we are calling for capacity to be increased by allowing pharmacists to start vaccinating using the AstraZeneca vaccine,” he said.
Should the Johnson & Johnson vaccine be approved in the coming weeks, pharmacists should immediately be allocated supplies to commence vaccinating with this also.
And in the meantime, Mr O Loughlin said it is vital all pharmacy staff are vaccinated.
So far this has been a postcode lottery, with some vaccination teams offering jabs to everyone who works in a pharmacy, but others only to pharmacists.
All these dedicated staff are facing risks every day to ensure continued supply of medicine to those who need it, he said. “There should be no further delay in protecting these key workers.”
In Limerick City, Angelina McDonnell-O’Neill, pharmacy manager at The Prescription Centre, is desperate for a vaccine after what has been a long and frightening year.
When I get home, I strip off at the back door, and go straight to the bathroom,” she said. 
Im just so scared of bringing it home. I have two kids, one of my colleagues is a grandmother. We cant isolate from everyone. 
Most of their customers at The Prescription Centre are aware of public health guidelines  but all it takes is one mistake, she said.
People do walk in without a mask, they pull their jumper up over their face,” she said. “We have to give them a mask.
One man came in and said he had Covid, he was collecting medicine for his wife. He said we should stay back from him. Where do you go with that? 
She had to send all the staff home twice due to an outbreak, with locums and medical students stepping in to keep the pharmacy open.
Out of seven staff, only one pharmacist is vaccinated.
We got word from the local health office on Tuesday that we werent even being considered under the programme, that it is only the pharmacists on the list, she said. “We are so deflated.”
Vaccinations for frontline healthcare workers slowed down last week due to a reduction in two deliveries of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This will also affect this weeks vaccinations.
A HSE spokeswoman said: The number of frontline healthcare workers who have yet to receive a vaccine is not available, as the system is an opt-in programme where staff can self-register.
The portal does not record staff who do not register for vaccination. 
Up to Tuesday, 144,581 people are fully vaccinated, with 316,056 doses given. Vaccine numbers can be seen on the Covid Tracker app.