900 people on waiting list for COVID-19 vaccine at Ottawa pharmacy
OTTAWA -- With residents aged 40 and over now eligible to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine at Ontario's pharmacies, many have been scrambling to book an appointment.
Beth Brady, 53, booked her COVID-19 vaccine appointment at one of Ottawa’s pharmacies as soon as she could.
She drove from Barrhaven to the pharmacy in Alta Vista to receive the vaccine, only to be disappointed.
"I had an appointment booked for AstraZeneca vaccine, but unfortunately they didn’t get the shipment in," she said.
Promed Pharmacy owner Lubna Fawaz says they were just added to the list of pharmacies offering AstraZeneca last week.
"It’s been really crazy," she said. "We’ve been having calls non-stop."
They’ve received a shipment on Friday, but by Tuesday, they administered their last shot at 7 p.m.
By Wednesday afternoon, Fawaz said the wait list at Promed Pharmacy had 900 people on it. They’re waiting to hear back on when they can get more vaccines.
The number of vaccines coming to Ottawa pharmacies is not public. It’s being run separately by the Ontario government without the input of Ottawa Public Pealth.
Ottawa residents are now filling up waitlists at pharmacies across the city, calling all over town to book an appointment and sometimes just showing up in person.
"I’m on ten wait lists," said Fiona Bremner, who now qualifies for the AstraZeneca vaccine. "When I’ve called around, they said they’ve been out completely this week. They’re not even taking appointments for next week. We just have to go on a wait list and hope."
Pharmacies are given a certain amount of vaccines, but Fawaz says they have the capacity to administer more.
"We don’t mind giving 200 vaccines and extend our hours if our government can provide us with that," she said.
As for Brady; a cancelled appointment on Wednesday means waiting and hoping for tomorrow.
"I’m on a lot of wait lists and registered a lot, I’m sure everybody is.,” she said. “I’ll just keep checking in.”