By KENDALL KING, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter on December 24, 2021.
Several vaccination sites in Medicine Hat have run out or are running low on the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, claim Hatters and site staff.
The main vaccination site for the city is Higdon Hall on Medicine Hat Stampede & Exhibition grounds, however several pharmacies are also offering the shots.
On Thursday morning, a News reader who had booked an appointment for their vaccination at Southview Pharmacy said that upon arrival, they were told the pharmacy had run out of vaccinations. Pharmacy staff confirmed to the News the location has run out of both Pfizer and Moderna, but are expecting to receive more doses next week.
When contacted midday on Dec. 23, no other pharmacies in the city claimed to have run out of vaccinations, but several reported low stock, promoting a few to stop accepting appointments. Staff at Higdon Hall reported the site as having enough supply to vaccinate anyone who has booked an appointment.
In a statement to the News, Alberta Health said, “As of Dec. 22, 20 of the 21 pharmacies in Medicine Hat were showing as having supply in the Alberta Vaccine Inventory System. (Doses being 1,141 Pfizer and 540 Moderna.) … Select pharmacies may no longer have vaccines, or may only have one brand of vaccine; however, all pharmacies that ordered more supply last week received a top-up yesterday or will receive it today.”
Alberta Health confirmed the supply of the Pfizer vaccine is limited throughout the nation, but there is enough Moderna supply to “meet increased demand.”
“Albertans 30 years of age and older who are eligible for a booster dose are encouraged to receive a dose of the Moderna vaccine, regardless of what vaccine they received for their first and second doses,” the statement read. “Pfizer and Moderna use the same mRNA technology and both offer a high level of protection against COVID-19, particularly against severe outcomes … so, we urge Albertans to take advantage of whichever is available to them most conveniently.”
First, second and booster dose vaccinations can be booked online on Alberta’s Vaccine Booking System. Several Medicine Hat pharmacies also recommended individuals booking at a pharmacy who have concerns regarding supply, contact the pharmacy directly prior to their appointment.