40+ crowd snapping up pharmacy vaccine appointments in London
LONDON, ONT. -- Despite the hesitation, from some about taking the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, demand is high in the London region Monday.
Effective Tuesday, the Government of Ontario is permitting pharmacies to administer the vaccine to those 40 years of age and over.
Demand is particularly high in the London area, where select pharmacies are just now coming online to offer it.
At Bellwood Pharmacy at Oxford and Gammage streets, it has been a busy day.
Owner and pharmacist Victor Boran is on the phone repeating a phrase over and over, “Are you calling about the COVID-19 shots?”
Boran is telling callers to go his website under 'location' and fill out a contact form. From there they'll get a call back for an appointment.
By 9:30 a.m., just one hour after opening, more than 50 people already had.
Like many pharmacies, Boran has 200 vaccines in total to distribute, with all appointments expected to fill Monday.
He hopes to vaccinate as many people as possible at his small independent location.
“Twenty to 30 a day to start off. I’m also looking at hiring extra help so that I can, and they can, run it all day long.”
When about half the vaccinations are complete, Boran will be in the system for more.
But that does not mean he knows when his next shipment will arrive.
“No one really knows when we're getting stuff. As we give out more than 80 doses you get on the list for being replenished, but once again, it’s a surprise, once again they just say, 'Hey surprise, you’re getting stuff.'”
For those in the new 15-year window added to qualify for the vaccine, the news is exciting.
Wes Bydeweg heard about the new 40-plus requirement and inquired in person, even though he still has some hesitation.
“That just entered me into the decision-making mode, even though I heard some negatives about AstraZeneca when it comes to blood clots.”
The latter concern is one Boran has heard many times, but he argues the “very-low” risk is worth it to reduce your chances of COVID-19 complications.
“The blood clot risk is higher for so many other things we do every day. Like women going on birth control is a high risk of blood clots. Any of the vaccines, if you get vaccinated, are going to make it infinitely less likely that you get hospitalized.”
And with that stated, Bydeweg is moving closer to booking his AstraZeneca shot.
“I’m probably about 80 per cent now."
To find appointments or waiting list times click here.