The Peterborough Examiner
AstraZeneca hard to come by
People 40 and older are now eligible, but appointments are scarce
While anyone 40 or older is now eligible to be immunized against COVID-19 at select pharmacies, some people in Peterborough were stymied when they tried to book an appointment this week.
There are four local pharmacies offering AstraZeneca vaccines to people 40 or older, in the city; Costco, Guardian (High Street), Walmart (Chemong Road) and Rexall (also on Chemong Road).
But calling or visiting won’t necessarily get you a jab.
Just ask Andrea Brusey, 46. She and her husband and some friends all tried earlier this week, but had no luck.
“The only people I know my age who have had the shot work in health care,” said Brusey, the secretary at Prince of Wales Public School (now working from home).
“We’re trying. We’d like it — but nobody’s offering,” she said.
Brusey got onto an online waiting list, and is now doing her best to be patient.
Everyone’s turn will arrive, said Batool Fatima, a pharmacist and manager at Rexall on Chemong Road — it’s just not clear when. She recommended getting on the Rexall wait list online, which offers the chance to be on “standby” — meaning they’ll call you if someone doesn’t show up for their appointment.
Patience is needed once you’re on the list, she said: “This is the process, right?”
Costco and Guardian in Peterborough also have wait-lists, and Walmart takes appointments only when it has vaccine shipments so it’s best to check online often.
Meanwhile, the provincial government’s pharmacy locator lists 16 more pharmacies located within 40 kilometres of Peterborough where vaccines are being offered. In Lindsay there are six pharmacies listed, for instance. Other options are
in Bobcaygeon, Fenelon Falls, Campbellford, Port Hope and Cobourg.
The Examiner phoned all 20 pharmacies on Wednesday; local ones, and those further afield. Many calls were unanswered; lines were busy. Some pharmacy workers recommended using the online waitlist, and others didn’t comment.
Pharmacy 101 in Cobourg is the only independent pharmacy near Peterborough offering the vaccine.
Although the store’s website stated on Wednesday that they had no doses, it recommends following the pharmacy Facebook account to see when the next appointments might open up; booking is done online.