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.
“Our phones just don’t stop ringing all day,” he added.
It’s the second week Howden has ordered 200 vaccine doses and received only half that.
“One-hundred doses is a drop in the bucket.”
“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.
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.
“I’m not sure where the disconnect is between the small pharmacies and the supply of vaccines,” she said.
“As a small pharmacy, we’re really suffering”
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.