Pharmacists 'suspend' use of AstraZeneca vaccine, going exclusively with Moderna, association says

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Pharmacists 'suspend' use of AstraZeneca vaccine, going exclusively with Moderna, association says
'We are excited to hear that we are getting another shipment [of Moderna] at the end of this week,' says Erin MacKenzie with the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association.  (CBC - image credit)
'We are excited to hear that we are getting another shipment [of Moderna] at the end of this week,' says Erin MacKenzie with the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association. (CBC - image credit)

Pharmacists on Prince Edward Island are now delivering first doses of COVID-19 vaccines to Islanders 40 and over. Last week they stopped administering AstraZeneca-Oxford shots, on the direction of the province.

Twelve pharmacies across P.E.I. are part of the vaccine program.

"The use of AstraZeneca was suspended," Erin MacKenzie, executive director of the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association, told CBC News: Compass host Louise Martin Monday.

"Any of the AstraZeneca doses that they had on hand has been returned to [the] provincial pharmacy."

Pharmacies are only giving first doses of vaccines for now, and are continuing to give shots of Moderna.

Moderna uptake has been good

The province does have enough AstraZeneca to deliver second shots to anyone who received it in the first round, but MacKenzie said the Chief Public Health Office will let pharmacies know around the end of May whether that will happen.

She said the uptake of Moderna vaccines at pharmacies has been very good, especially since those 40 and over can now book appointments either at pharmacies or through the province's mass clinics.

She said she is excited to hear pharmacies will be getting more Moderna delivered by the end of this week. Watch for online bookings at pharmacies to open up soon as the vaccine supply arrives, she said.

She said pharmacists are getting a lot of questions about which vaccines are best, but she believes they are all safe and people should get vaccinated as soon as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

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