The rush to get a second dose of COVID-19 vaccine causing some confusion
BARRIE, ONT. -- The province is starting to speed up second doses, but the changes have caused some confusion for those who have already booked an appointment or want to have it changed.
"It's a confusing time because people are trying to access their second doses as quickly as possible," said pharmacist Lou Celli.
Celli says he is trying his best to steer regulars and newcomers who come to his pharmacy through the process.
"There are many people who have second dose appointments booked through the provincial web platform, or they have second dose appointments at other pharmacies, or perhaps they had the first dose at their physician's office and their physician isn't offering a second dose right now," Celli said. "We just simply don't have enough doses at the pharmacy level to be able to offer those second dose appointments as quickly as we'd like to."
In Bradford West Gwillimbury, some political leaders are pushing for more supply for second doses.
"We've really benefitted from being prioritized for the first doses," said councillor Jonathan Scott.
That prioritization was attached to being the only hotspot in the region, although last week, the COVID-19 incidence rate was higher elsewhere.
Scott says getting the extra vials has helped the town catch up.
"We had been behind the county despite being a hotspot, and we're now either ahead or tied effectively in all age demographics," Scott said.
In Barrie, the city's largest vaccination clinic has a different focus.
"Out of our 7,000 doses each week, we really are continuing to do over 80 per cent of those first doses," said Stella Johnson, Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre operations manager. "We're probably in the double digits for sure and some days up to a hundred. It really depends on how many appointments were booked the previous day and then how many individuals show up."
For those who do manage to get a second shot ahead of schedule, officials are asking them to cancel the appointment, so officials know what kind of numbers to plan for.