Pharmacies reporting steady demand for AZ vaccines on P.E.I.

·2 min read
A vial of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is prepared in a vaccination centre in late March. Once the vials are open, the vaccine has to be used up within 48 hours to remain effective. (Andrew Couldridge/Reuters - image credit)
A vial of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine is prepared in a vaccination centre in late March. Once the vials are open, the vaccine has to be used up within 48 hours to remain effective. (Andrew Couldridge/Reuters - image credit)

About a third of the available supply of the AstraZeneca-Oxford vaccine has now been given out at 12 P.E.I. pharmacies, as people 55 and up keep their appointments to be protected against the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"I think that the people that are coming for the vaccine realize the benefits of getting the vaccine early, getting it as soon as possible," Erin MacKenzie, the executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, said on Thursday.

Her association's members say the uptake in the first few days of this week was quite high, but there are still appointments open within a day or two if people haven't booked yet.

"We do have lots of vaccine left in all of the 12 participating pharmacies, and because of the short lifespan of the vaccine, once it's been punctured or opened, they have to use the vaccine within 48 hours," she said.

The goal is "just to make sure that no doses are wasted."

People getting their first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at a pharmacy are being given a date for their second appointment, 12 weeks later.

That means second shots will be available in the first two weeks of July.

Online booking system 'overwhelmed'

Islanders aged 55 and up can also book an appointment for one of the mass provincial immunization clinics, to receive a dose of the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.

People calling or going online to book for those vaccines on Thursday were getting appointments at least a couple of weeks away, with most due for their shots in the first two weeks of May.

"The good news is lots of people are booking … vaccination appointments," the provincial government Twitter account reported around midday.

"The less good news is the online platform booking page is a little overwhelmed at the moment. Please try again later if you are trying to book online and thanks for your patience."

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