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'Almost half, maybe 40 per cent' of Pfizer doses to pharmacies to be scaled back, redirected to AHS sites: RxA

Last Updated Apr 9, 2021 at 7:19 pm MDT

A health-care worker prepares a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine at a UHN COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Toronto on Jan. 7, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

CALGARY (660 NEWS) — The Alberta Pharmacists Association tells 660 NEWS they have been told by Alberta Health Services (AHS) the number of Pfizer doses delivered to pharmacies will most likely be scaled back.

Those doses will be delivered to AHS vaccination sites instead.

“The initial indication could be almost half, maybe 40 per cent, something like that,” said Bruce Winston, president of the Alberta Pharmacists Association. “The original allocation to stores was somewhere between 210 to 240 doses a week, and I’m hearing that is going to be scaled back to somewhere around 150 to 180.”

Winston says this move isn’t set in stone yet, but if it goes ahead, could affect people who already have bookings.

“If the supply is cut back, even the pharmacies have done such a great job of having zero waste, it’ll be very disappointing, not only to the pharmacies and pharmacists that have been going full out on this, but I’m going to have to assume it’s going to be very disappointing to the people, the public, that have booked at a pharmacy.”

READ MORE: Alberta identifies 1,521 COVID-19 cases, 674 new variant infections

Winston says they were told that AHS wants to make sure the shots are administered within seven days of being delivered to the province.

The Pfizer vaccine is given out to pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer to administer.

660 NEWS reached out to the province for comment, in which they responded:

“A limited number are being shifted to AHS next week. Fluctuations and changes happen week to week based on supply as we continue rolling out the vaccine as quickly as possible.

Our top priority is getting the doses out as quickly and safely as possible.”