Lord Mayor Betty Disero has received her first vaccination, and she couldn’t be happier.
She’s been on the waiting list at Simpson’s Pharmacy, and when she received a call offering her an appointment, she jumped at it, she says.
“I’ve been trying to get an appointment at one of the clinics, and planned to just take whatever came first,” she says.
She didn’t hesitate for a minute when offered the chance at a dose of AstraZeneca, she says.
While she has heard from a few people — not many, because she’s not going out and having occasion to talk to people — that they are hesitant about AstraZeneca, but she says she’s following the advice of health care professionals, that “the first vaccine is the best vaccine. It didn’t matter where I went or what kind of vaccine it was, it was just a matter of what came first.”
When community clinics were opened up to those aged 60 and over, another 67,000 people in Niagara became eligible, says Disero. “There is no way clinics will be able to do 67,000 people, plus those who are over 70 and still trying to get vaccinated.”
There have to be other outlets to help get through that number, and pharmacies are the other option at the moment, she says, although primary care doctors are also coming onboard this week.
Although as of Tuesday there were no more community clinics scheduled to take place at the Niagara-on-the-Lake community centre, she’s hoping to hear soon from Public Health that NOTL will be included in the next schedule announcement, possibly for a few consecutive days, “rather than a day here and there. I don’t want them to give up on the smaller locations.”
Simpson’s Pharmacy and Simpson’s Apothecary vaccinated 325 people during its first week of vaccinations, and are in the process of booking another 300-plus for this week.
Invitations have been sent to all of those 55 and over who signed up on the pharmacy’s waiting list prior to March 1, but there are still more than 2,500 names on the list.
Sean Simpson says he has another 300 appointments for this week, and has enough vaccine to take him through to Thursday, but he’s beginning to book for Friday and next week, hoping to get more supply for those appointments.
There are still a significant number of people on the waiting list who are not accepting appointments, and although some may be hesitant to get the shot, he suspects most have received their dose elsewhere.
Those who are 60 and over are now eligible to be vaccinated at community clinics. To book an appointment, visit: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/book-vaccine/