Swan Hills Pharmacy To Begin Administering COVID-19 Vaccine

·2 min read

The Rexall pharmacy in Swan Hills is preparing to start administering the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine during the week of March 15, 2021. Alberta began Phase 2A of the province's vaccine program, extending its eligibility to include Albertans who are 65 and older, as well as First Nations, Metis, and Inuit people 50 or older. Swan Hills' Rexall pharmacy is one of 156 Alberta rural pharmacies to receive the vaccine at this point of the vaccination program.

The Rexall pharmacy in Swan Hills has not received their shipment of the vaccine as of March 15, but the local pharmacist, Dean Rau, expects that it will arrive in the next couple of days. The Moderna vaccine must be kept between -25° C and -15° C for long-term storage, but it can be stored at ordinary refrigerator temperatures for up to 30 days. Once a vial of the vaccine has been unsealed, it must be used within six hours. Each vial contains ten doses, so vaccination appointments will be made in "batches" of 10 patients to ensure that none of the vaccine goes to waste.

The vaccine will be administered by appointment only. Appointments can be made on the Rexall website (rexall.ca/covid-19/alberta-vaccine) based on a "waitlist" booking platform. Mr. Rau recommends booking an appointment, even if you are not yet eligible to be vaccinated, as you will be added to the system's waitlist. This way, you will already be on the waitlist when you do become eligible. If you are unsure of booking an appointment online or having difficulty with the process, Mr. Rau recommends coming to the store to speak to the staff instead of calling. He anticipates that with the increased activity related to administering the vaccinations, the staff may not be able to respond to the phones in a timely manner.

Dean LaBerge, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Grizzly Gazette