'It’s a tough decision': Londoners get COVID-19 vaccines in Essex County
WINDSOR, ONT. -- An Essex County pharmacist says he can understand why a colleague gave COVID-19 vaccines to a family from London over the weekend.
“It’s a tough decision,” says Tim Brady, owner and pharmacist of Brady’s Drug Stores in Essex County.
Although it wasn’t his pharmacy that inoculated members of a London family, Brady can understand why the pharmacist agreed to give the shots.
“It is a pilot but the pilot was set for anybody in Ontario. So if you have a health card in Ontario, I’m not gonna deny you your shots,” he says.
Brady adds Windsor-Essex got 30,000 AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines for the pharmacy pilot project, to vaccinate people between the ages of 60 and 64.
“We only have about 28,000 people in that age group. So even if everybody got it and we had 100% compliance we’re still 2,000 shots short.”
Brenda Zadorsky and four other members of her family have driven from London to Kingsville for COVID-19 vaccines, after making an appointment on the phone.
“There were three pharmacies. The Shoppers Drug Mart, IDA and Zehrs pharmacy that were providing them and each place assured me that we were not jumping the queue that these were being offered after the community had been served,” says Zadorsky.
In a statement to CTV News, Loblaw, parent company of Shoppers Drug Mart and Zehrs grocery stores, confirmed pharmacies were looking to administer vaccines if they had supply and no booked appointments.
“In some cases, where we have stock and availability (i.e. we are not fully booked/reserved for the available appointments), some stores may be able to accommodate new appointments and/or walk-ins,” said the statement.
The spokesperson says most of their pharmacies have now ran out of vaccines or have allocated their remaining supply.
SOME WINDSORITES FRUSTRATED
Windsorite Kevin Mayea says he is frustrated with the vaccine rollout.
“People in my family that are 80-plus, some of them close to 90, are still waiting to have a phone call to be able to go to have the vaccine,” says Mayea.
So when he saw posts on social media about people getting shots, under age 60, he called a pharmacy, to ask to get his family members a shot.
“I was told no that they were only doing vaccines for people from 60 to 79 and I think that’s the right thing to do,” says Mayea.
Deborah Sweet went to a local pharmacy on Sunday for a stamp, and was shocked when she saw a sign advertising walk in vaccinations, and a packed parking lot.
When she got into the store, she was even more surprised.
“They were lined up, no social distancing, lined up in all the aisles, waiting for the vaccine,” says Sweet.
Sweet went home and called the stores’ head office and got a prompt reply.
When she drove past the location later that day, she noticed there was a physically distant lineup, outside the store, and the sign was gone.
Loblaw public relations says “capacity is managed in the store at all times and when reached, patients and customers are asked to wait outside the store.”