Dresden pharmacy to offer vaccine

·2 min read

MacTavish Pharmacy has been chosen to roll out COVID-19 vaccine shots for people aged 55 and up.

The Dresden drugstore is one of three pharmacies in Chatham-Kent that will be offering the AstraZeneca vaccine, hopefully starting this week.

Owner Randy Luckham only learned of the approval April 1. The vaccine has yet to arrive and details still need to be worked out.

“It’s a matter of supply,” Luckham says, adding patients may need to be prioritized under the Ministry of Health’s ethical framework if available doses are limited.

The first step, he says, is to get on a waiting list, which can be done at www.bookmyshot.com. The store’s nine-digit phone number is the code.

“We will go through the list and determine patient vulnerability,” Luckham adds.

Luckham joins a chorus of health care experts who see the vaccine as a way out of the ongoing pressures of a global pandemic.

“My only advice to people is to get the vaccine as soon as you can,” the pharmacist says.

The Dresden site is part of the province’s effort to get more vaccines into the arms of Ontario residents. Last week the ministry added an additional 350 pharmacies and primary care facilities to the rollout - three in every health unit.

Currently, there are 700 pharmacy and primary care sites offering the vaccine, however, provincial healthcare officials hope to more than double that number to 1,500 by the end of April.

In March, the ministry began offering the vaccine at pharmacies to people age 60 and over. The pilot project started with three Ontario cities, including Windsor.

AstraZeneca has come under controversy recently due to some extremely rare blood clotting disorders linked to the vaccine in Europe.

However, Health Canada, after a brief pause, has given the vaccine approval for all residents aged 55 and up.

The shot is also available in Chatham at Rexall Pharmacy on St. Clair Street and Shoppers Drugmart on Queen St.

Appointments must be made, as there are no walk-ins. Patients will not be served on a first come, first served basis.

Pam Wright, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Herald