Clic Santé Vaccine Appointment Delays in Quebec: Pharmacies Struggling with Low Vaccine Doses

2023-10-06 21:11:15

A few days before the launch of the vaccination campaign against COVID-19 and the flu, Quebec has some 475,000 appointments booked on the Clic Santé platform. Many pharmacist owners are, however, unable to open many beaches next week, because they have received too few doses of COVID-19 vaccines, their association indicates.

“The challenge we have at the moment is that we do not have enough doses to open as many beaches as we would like,” says Benoit Morin, president of the Quebec Association of Pharmacist Owners. “Thousands of appointments”, planned for the week of October 10, had to be canceled, the number of vaccines received being lower than anticipated, he specifies.

“It’s not catastrophic,” says Benoit Morin. Everyone will get vaccinated. Maybe not everyone the first week, but everyone will get vaccinated. » He invites Quebecers to regularly consult Clic Santé, where pharmacy appointments will be added as doses are received.

The Association of Banners and Chains of Pharmacies of Quebec (ABCPQ) is aware that appointments have had to be canceled. She explains that vaccine doses are distributed to pharmacies as soon as they are received by wholesalers. But various factors are delaying their delivery, according to her.

“Health Canada’s later marketing authorization for Pfizer’s Comirnaty vaccine, very strong demand since the announcement [de la campagne le] September 28, as well as the large number of vaccinating pharmacies means that the arrival of doses in pharmacies must occur gradually during the month of October, and not in full delivery before the start of the campaign, which would have been our preference of all,” wrote the general director of the ABCPQ, Hugues Mousseau, in an email.

At the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MSSS), it is stated that “despite some delays observed at the end of September”, the 100,000 doses to be sent to pharmaceutical wholesalers for the start of the vaccination campaign have all been sent. ” today’s date “. Other deliveries are planned over the coming weeks, the ministry said.

“The MSSS has also asked the federal government to advance the delivery of 100,000 additional doses to pharmaceutical wholesalers,” we specify in an email. Quebec also claims to have “released 15,000 doses from its strategic reserve for pharmacies”. These doses will be distributed to pharmaceutical wholesalers “over the coming days”, we add.

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An “encouraging” start

Dr. Marie-France Raynault, professor emeritus at the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal, nevertheless finds it “encouraging” that so many appointments were made in one week. “We are targeting populations more at risk,” she recalls. And availability will be added in the coming weeks. »

The elderly — those most at risk of complications, hospitalization and death — continue to adhere “strongly” to vaccination according to Ève Dubé, scientific advisor at the National Institute of Public Health of Quebec (INSPQ). The medical anthropologist co-wrote a report on the behavior of Quebecers with regard to COVID-19, made public on Wednesday. The survey data was collected between September 17 and 23.

“What we have observed from the start, after the first two doses, is really that the older we are, the more motivated we are to get vaccinated, the more doses we will have received,” she said. 18-34 year olds still remain the least vaccinated among adults. “With each additional dose, we lose a little bit of people. »

Among the population, COVID-19 is less perceived as a threat. According to the survey, 78% of Quebecers believe that their “body will be able to fight” the virus if they catch it.

Number of appointments made on Clic Santé Friday, at 7 a.m. Other data from the INSPQ survey

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