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Small Alberta pharmacies frustrated over lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply

Click to play video: 'Small pharmacies frustrated over lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply' Small pharmacies frustrated over lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply
WATCH: Several small pharmacy owners in Calgary are frustrated over the lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply. As Jackie Wilson reports, it’s forcing them to cancel hundreds of appointments. – May 7, 2021

Several small pharmacy owners in Calgary are frustrated by the lack of COVID-19 vaccine supply. It’s forcing them to cancel hundreds of appointments, sometimes at the last minute.

Read more: Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans

“Some weeks we don’t know when we’ll be receiving the vaccine or we don’t know how many vaccines we’ll be getting until weeks, sometimes days, before we receive [them]. It’s been a little challenging,” Crowfoot Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy owner Randy Howden said.

“Our phones just don’t stop ringing all day,” he added.

Click to play video: 'Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans' Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans
Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans – Apr 23, 2021

Read more: Kenney announces COVID-19 vaccine partnership between Alberta and Montana

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It’s the second week Howden has ordered 200 vaccine doses and received only half that.

“Pharmacies are only offered a certain maximum number each week. I know I’d be able to handle more, but I think there isn’t enough coming into the country and the province,” he said.

Click to play video: 'Jason Kenney announces COVID-19 vaccine partnership between Alberta, Montana' Jason Kenney announces COVID-19 vaccine partnership between Alberta, Montana
Jason Kenney announces COVID-19 vaccine partnership between Alberta, Montana – May 7, 2021

At Britannia Pharmacy in southwest Calgary, owner Susan Elzein had to cancel hundreds of appointments after shipments were cancelled two out of the last three weeks.

“I had no choice but to cancel 150 people that I had and then the phones started ringing off the hook. People started dropping by the pharmacy angry at us,” Elzein said.

She’s now asking customers to redirect their frustrations to the provincial government.

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Read more: Alberta to begin booking COVID-19 vaccines for people ages 12+ by May 10

“I’m not sure where the disconnect is between the small pharmacies and the supply of vaccines,” she said.

Alberta Health says doses are distributed based on the supply available and a pharmacy’s administration capacity.

However, with shipments of Moderna and Pfizer vaccine rapidly expanding, Alberta Health says pharmacies should not experience similar delays in the future.

Click to play video: 'Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans' Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans
Inside the fast-paced world of pharmacies racing to vaccinate Albertans – Apr 23, 2021
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