Flu and COVID-19 vaccines have been available throughout our province for nearly a week and it comes at a time when data shows that COVID-19 numbers have been steadily rising.
With temperatures beginning to fall, flu and COVID-19 cases have begun to rise throughout Alberta.
Data collected on the Centre of Health Informatics website from post-secondaries across Alberta shows that COVID numbers are up. Specifically in Edmonton, over the past month and a half viral loads in wastewater have been fluctuating but are starting to rise.
Local pharmacists say that many Edmontonians are trying to get ahead of the curve.
“The numbers are really good but I don’t see so many kids coming for the vaccine this year, more adults and seniors than kids population,” said pharmacist Salam Shartooh with the Miracare Pharmacy.
As of last week, both the flu and COVID vaccines have been available for the first time this fall in Alberta and pharmacist Vishal Patel says it’s made a big difference in his drugstore.
“Sometimes patients will come for the flu vaccine, and then when they know there is the latest COVID vaccine as well, they prefer to get both at the same time,” said Patel.
Other pharmacies say they’ve been facing a similar issue, running out of stock before the next delivery as they are currently only allowed to order 100 doses a week.
“Some of them are our regular patients that we told before that you can come walk in and now we had to tell them to come next week,” said Shartooh.
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However in a statement the Government of Alberta told Global News it is taking steps to increase the amount of shots available.
“Alberta Health has received a new shipment of COVID-19 vaccines and as a result of this will be increasing the limit of vaccines that pharmacies can order to 350 a week starting Monday, October 23,” read the Ministry of Health’s statement.
“This increase will help ensure that pharmacies have more doses on hand to administer and will allow for an increase in appointment availability at pharmacies across the province.”
Shartooh says her pharmacy will be taking advantage after what they’ve called an impressive week.
“After we heard about what they call public vaccine fatigue like people and sick and tired of public vaccines, and they won’t to come for COVID, but so far so good,” she said.
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