The Safeway Pharmacy is offering first and second doses of the COVID-19 Moderna vaccines as the province enters its second phase of reopening.
David Schwartz, pharmacy manager at Safeway, said they have been administering the Moderna vaccine for about three weeks since they received their first shipment sometime in early June.
“I think they shipped us an initial 200 to start and then I’ve got another couple 100 in the fridge as well,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said he suspects they will be able to get more vaccines if they need but they are just trying to get through their current supply.
“The tricky part with Moderna and Pfizer is that once it’s delivered to the pharmacy with the super cold packs, we put it in a refrigerator and it’s good for exactly 30 days,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said the Moderna vaccine is only for those 18 years and older.
“Pfizer is approved for ages 12 and older because they did the studies, and they had the data to show that it is effective and safe. I believe Moderna is working on that,” Schwartz said.
Schwartz said they have been administering mainly second doses of the vaccine with a few people coming in to get their first.
On Monday, the province opened eligibility for all adults who received their first vaccine to book an accelerated appointment for their second dose. Schwartz said he is hoping that they will see an increase in people getting their second dose of the vaccine.
“I would like to make sure that I use up as much of this vaccine as possible,” Schwartz said. “The clock is ticking so we would like to minimize wastage as much as possible.”
Schwartz said he is opening appointments on Saturdays, adding that the pharmacy will not be open, but he will be coming in to administer the vaccine.
During a regular day, the pharmacy has anywhere from 10 to 14 appointments a day and on Saturdays Schwartz said he is trying to accommodate anywhere from 20 to 30 appointments in a day.
Schwartz said he is thankful for the community and all the healthcare workers that have been working tirelessly to administer vaccines.
“I know the health unit has done an awesome job and the other pharmacies in the area,” Schwartz said. “We’re just trying to get as much done as we can, and I thank all the other pharmacies for doing their work.”
Schwartz said if people have questions about the vaccine or are unsure about the safety of it to give them a call and they would be happy to talk about it.
Those looking to get their first or second dose of the vaccine at the Safeway pharmacy can book online at pharmacyappointments.ca. Schwartz said they have appointments available during the week.
Schwartz said once people register online, the pharmacy will have most of the necessary information but says those coming in should make sure to have their health card, a record of their first dose if they’re getting their second and to wear a short sleeve shirt to make the injection easier.