Shoppers Drug Mart locations in Toronto are running out of flu shots
Shoppers Drug Mart locations around Toronto can't keep the flu shot in stock just days after it was released in pharmacies across the country. There have also been long lineups at many pharmacy locations.
Now to save time, Shoppers Drug Mart is asking customers to fill out an online screening and consent form prior to showing up to the pharmacy for their shot.
Last month, Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced what he suggested would be the largest flu shot campaign in Canada's history.
The government aims to reduce flu-related hospitalizations in the province so as not to backlog the system and free up space for COVID-19 patients.
“Never before have the flu shots been so critical,” Ford said
But despite the millions of doses, some people have reported being turned away and that many Shoppers Drug Marts are out of stock.
The long lineups are also raising concerns among people as there is no one to enforce mask-wearing.
Flu shots in Toronto are about as well administered as contact tracing in Toronto. 1 hour waiting in line with no mask enforcement @YorkdaleStyle and still only half way through to the front. @ShopprsDrugMart #TOpoli pic.twitter.com/p2m7FCf7YU— Sharmin Rahman (@srahman24) October 10, 2020
Others worry that social distancing isn't and can't be followed in the small space inside the pharmacy.
This is how @ShopprsDrugMart is ensuring everyone’s safety during #FluShot2020— GhosTO (@aponbhola) October 11, 2020
You’ll probably end up contracting #COVID19 while queuing up for your flu shot- for over 3 hours 😢@TOPublicHealth should enforce #SocialDistancing in #Toronto more stringently! #COVID19Ontario pic.twitter.com/FS3qE4wfcz
One doctor said due to the shortage in higher doses of the shot, some patients have had to opt-out of the doses and settle for the regular one.
I just had to say to a 65 year old patient that although he’s eligible (by age) for the high dose flu shot, I only have 15 doses and I have 185 patients who are >65, 34 of whom are >80. He generously opted for the standard dose. So who gets the high dose, with limited supply?— Dr Nili Kaplan-Myrth, MD, PhD, CCFP (@nilikm) October 13, 2020
Others are avoiding lineups and booking appointments instead, but the appointments can be weeks away.
Heads up Toronto: I just booked a flu shot appt through Rexall, but I couldn't get one until Oct 26 (didn't want to chance a walk-in). Don't wait too long if you're looking to get one, or call your doc ASAP. 🙏— Ruth Kapelus (@RuthKapelus) October 9, 2020
While some have gotten lucky and managed to snag a dose of the flu shot, others are still in line. People are encouraged to try and get the shot as soon as possible and to call pharmacies in advance.
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