Interior Health board chair Doug Cochrane, Interior Health CEO Susan Brown and Okanagan Indian Band Coun. Allan Louis at Salmon Arm Hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. (Cameron Thomson/Salmon Arm Observer)

Salmon Arm pharmacies continue to experience flu vaccine shortage

One pharmacy has privately sourced vaccine in stock, available for purchase

Salmon Arm pharmacies and medical centres are still experiencing shortages of publicly funded influenza vaccines despite the official start of flu season.

On a visit to Salmon Arm hospital on Wednesday, Dec. 11, Interior Health CEO Susan Brown reported that pharmacies within the Thompson-Okanagan Shuswap have received vaccines for public use in time for the flu season. While pharmacies did receive orders in October and November, some have since completely run out of stock and do not know when more is expected to arrive.

Read more: Flu vaccine delivery delayed but not expected to affect vaccinations

Read more: Delayed flu vaccine, change in scheduled clinics, puts pressure on Salmon Arm pharmacies

“I believe all the communities have all the vaccines they need and people can definitely go to community pharmacies for this as well as other areas that provide the vaccine,” said Brown, adding if the public is ever in any doubt they can check the Interior Health website or call their local primary public health clinic.

While the IH website shows vaccine providers in the Salmon Arm area, it does not show if each provider has vaccinations in stock. Pharmasave, a vaccination provider listed on the IH flu clinic map reports the pharmacy has zero public vaccines in stock and does not expect to receive more in the future.

The Salmon Arm Health Centre reports vaccines are available for all booked appointments.

Shoppers Drug Mart at the Mall at Piccadilly says they have only a small amount left from Interior Health.

Read more: B.C. launches mandatory vaccine registry for schoolchildren

Read more: B.C. seniors need better vaccine protection, advocate says

Darlene Ogilvie, Askew’s pharmacy manager, says the pharmacy was completely under supplied, having used up the vaccines received in October and November. Ogilvie has not heard from Interior Health as to whether or not they will receive any more flu shots.

Askew’s pharmacy has privately sourced flu vaccine in stock and available for the public to purchase.


@CameronJHT
Cameron.thomson@saobserver.net

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