People have been asked to order medicine in advance as pharmacies have come under significant pressure due to Covid-19 related staff absences.
According to the Irish Pharmacy Union (IPU), some pharmacies have had to reduce opening hours or stay closed on certain days in an effort to cope with staff shortages.
People have been requested to plan ahead and order medication, such as repeat prescriptions, well in advance to take pressure of pharmacies.
Despite difficulties with staff shortages, the IPU have said that pharmacies will continue to play an active role in the vaccination programme.
Speaking about the challenges currently being faced by pharmacies, Darragh O’Loughlin, secretary-general of the IPU said pharmacy staff are out because they either have Covid-19, a different routine illness or have been identified as a Covid-19 close contact.
“This is exacerbating a pre-existing shortage of pharmacists and pharmacy staff that has grown more acute in recent years,” Mr O’Loughlin said.
“These staff shortages come at a time when the demands on pharmacies have increased significantly.
“Each pharmacy will strive to maintain services to patients and the public, but reduced hours and temporary closures cannot be ruled out,” he added.
“We would ask all members of the public to be patient when visiting their pharmacy and understand certain services may take longer than usual.
“Where possible, ordering repeat medications in advance would be a great assistance to your pharmacist, while also ensuring you receive your medications without undue delays.”