Niagara pharmacist says vaccine supply issues continue to hamper pharmacies


A Niagara pharmacist hopes the COVID-19 vaccine supply allocated to pharmacies will increase as some of their clients are still waiting for their first dose of a vaccine.

Boggio and Edwards pharmacist Donnie Edwards says while the mass vaccination clinics are vaccinating thousands of people, pharmacies are still dealing with extremely limited supplies of around 150 doses a week.

"Those 150 are gone within hours. We need thousands a week, not hundreds a week. Those people who are on our first dose wait list still waiting for that first dose, we're getting to you and that's going to happen."

He says the last time they received 120 doses the appointment schedule was full in 3 minutes.

"The folks, especially in these smaller towns, don't want to go to these mass vaccination clinics. They want to go to places that they trust, that they know. So they want to go to their pharmacy, they want to go to their doctor's office. Right now we're just not getting enough vaccine. If I was getting 1,000 doses a day, we'd be giving 1,000 vaccines a day."

He also points out the importance of the second dose in offering protection from the new Delta COVID-19 variant. For example, data shows two doses of Pfizer can offer 88 percent protection against the variant.

Pharmacies are still getting doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine for people who want second shots, along with the Pfizer and Moderna doses which can be used for either first or second doses.