“We’re running out of leads:” Nearly 100 pharmacies in Toronto will receive promised AstraZeneca vaccines today –

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More than 100 pharmacies in Toronto have yet to receive promised supply of AstraZeneca vaccine with expiration in days – fr


Nearly 100 pharmacies in Toronto will receive limited stocks of the AstraZeneca vaccine today, just four days before it expires.

People who received their first dose of the vaccine between March 10 and March 19 were eligible to receive an early second dose on Tuesday as the province scrambled to use 31,000 doses that will expire on May 31.

The problem is that the delivery of the vaccine to most pharmacies has been delayed due to a quality assurance process that has been put in place to ensure that the vials do not spoil when they are in. refrigerators in Ontario pharmacies over the past two weeks.

On Thursday morning, a spokesperson for the Department of Health confirmed that 4,500 doses have already gone through the quality control process and were delivered to pharmacies in Toronto this morning. The spokesperson said an additional 12,000 doses are expected to be delivered during the day. A total of 13,000 doses are still undergoing a quality assurance process and their exact delivery date remains uncertain.

“When Health Canada asked us to stop the distribution of AstraZeneca, it meant that these doses were in pharmacies across Ontario. Because we only offer the shortened dose in three regions, Kingston, Windsor and Toronto, it meant that we had to redistribute those doses and confirm that they were still of the highest quality so that we could offer them to people ”. General Sylvia Jones told CP24. “The majority has been distributed, but there is confirmation happening right now to ensure that the remaining AstraZeneca to be distributed is of the highest quality. When this happens, it will be immediately distributed as soon as possible. “

The Ford government was due to increase second doses for a small cohort of people after temporarily suspending use of AstraZeneca over concerns about a risk of rare but potentially fatal blood clots.

The rollout was turbulent, many took to social media to complain about a lack of clarity on how to get a date and others said they were unable to to make an appointment after calling more than a dozen pharmacies.

Speaking to CP24, Jones said AstraZeneca leftovers still undergoing the quality assurance process are expected to be shipped to pharmacies by tomorrow.

Pharmacists, however, are concerned that delays may cause some doses to expire before they can be used.

“Our pharmacists are in a very delicate position because they have a lot of people and they ask for appointments and to be vaccinated, which is completely understandable. However, they don’t have any information to give to people and they don’t know when they are going to get these vaccines, ”Ontario Pharmacists Association CEO Justin Bates told CP24 in an interview. Thursday morning. “They can’t plan the resources appropriately in terms of bringing in extra staff to help and they’re going to have to really move mountains to be able to get these vaccines in the guns by Monday. It’s only four days.

The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health said that the quality assurance process is a standard procedure and is necessary “to ensure maximum safety and effectiveness of each dose”.

But Bates said the province needs to “act faster” and put more resources behind it as some pharmacies “are running out of leads” to getting shots.

“Pharmacists across the province, especially in Toronto, are going to do whatever they can to welcome people and make it work because we have a common goal of not wasting any dose,” he said Thursday. . “You know I can’t guarantee that the doses won’t be wasted on time, but we are committed to doing it very quickly. We will mobilize and we will have the shots.

The Ontario government has said it expects to receive an additional 254,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in about two weeks.

He has not yet indicated who will be eligible to receive these vaccines.

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