Pharmacist Aamir Hussain, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square, said he expects vaccine to be available to eligible seniors next week at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Pharmacist Aamir Hussain, owner of Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square, said he expects vaccine to be available to eligible seniors next week at his store. (Photo by SUSAN ZIELINSKI/Advocate staff)

Red Deer pharmacies prepare to be part of COVID-19 immunization plan

Seniors have already been calling to book appointments

Central Alberta seniors did not waste any time contacting Red Deer pharmacies on Thursday to book appointments for COVID-19 immunization.

Within the first three hours of opening, Shoppers Drug Mart in Clearview Market Square had received about 100 calls.

“As soon as people knew they were allowed to book at the pharmacy for immunization, they were all excited,” said pharmacist and store owner Aamir Hussain.

Despite the call volume, people could still get through, he added.

He said the store had been receiving calls for about a week prior to Wednesday’s announcement by Alberta Health that vaccine distribution was expanding to pharmacies.

Starting next week, about 100 pharmacies in Calgary, Edmonton and Red Deer will offer COVID-19 immunization to seniors 75 and older.

The nine participating Red Deer pharmacies include: Johnstone IDA, Real Canadian Superstore, London Drugs (south), Notre Dame Pharmasave, Save-on-Foods (Glendale), Shoppers Drug Mart (Clearview and Bower Place), The Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy and Walmart (Parkland).

Hussain said for now the pharmacy is taking people’s names and will get back to them to book appointments once it is known when the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine will arrive.

“As soon as we confirm the arrival date of the vaccine, we’ll start booking right away. We book them for both doses. It’s important that people who receive their first dose also get their second dose.”

He said no walk-ins will be allowed to ensure the system is fair to everyone. People will receive a text to remind them one week, and one day, before their appointment.

“It’s important that people show up for their appointment. If you can’t, let us know, then we’ll call someone on the waiting list.”

He said the number of people accessing influenza immunization increased tremendously when it was made available at pharmacies, and commended the province for including pharmacies in the COVID immunization plan.

“You can easily have access to pharmacists. You can talk to them. You can call them with any questions and concerns. I think it’s a great idea,” Hussain said.

Related:

9 Red Deer pharmacies set to offer COVID-19 vaccine to seniors next week

Another new high: Red Deer hits 574 active COVID-19 cases

Walmart Canada said it was pleased its Parkland Mall location was included in Alberta’s vaccination pilot.

“Walmart Canada, and our pharmacies, are ready to help get Canadians immunized,” said Shelly Kiroff, senior vice president, Health and Wellness, Walmart Canada, in a statement.

“Throughout the pandemic, Canadians have come to Walmart for all their health, wellness and pharmacy needs – and we’re ready to support them with immunization too.”

Alberta Health Services will continue to book vaccines for all other eligible Albertans. Seniors age 75 and older who cannot access a community pharmacy can still book their appointments through the online booking tool.



szielinski@reddeeradvocate.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

red deer cityvaccines

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer Rebels forward Ethan Rowland battles with Medicine Hat Tigers forward Brett Kemp during WHL action at the Centrium Saturday night. (Photo by ROB WALLATOR/Red Deer Rebels)
Tigers claw back, hand Rebels 11th straight loss

Tigers 5 Rebels 2 The same old issues continue to plague the… Continue reading

There were six additional deaths across Alberta reported over the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 1,926 since the beginning of the pandemic. (File photo)
AstraZeneca vaccine is ready to be used at a homeless shelter in Romford, east London, Wednesday, Feb. 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Frank Augstein
AstraZeneca-linked blood clot confirmed in Alberta

A case of an AstraZeneca-linked blood clot has been confirmed in Alberta,… Continue reading

The Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools Board of Trustees selected the name St. Lorenzo Ruiz Middle School to be built in the north end of Red Deer. (Photo Courtesy of  Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools)
Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raises about $8,720 for Terry Fox Foundation

Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools raised about $8,720 for the Terry Fox… Continue reading

A nurse gets a swab ready at a temporary COVID-19 test clinic in Montreal, on Friday, May 15, 2020. Health Canada has reversed course on home test kits for COVID-19, saying it will now review applications for such devices. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Alberta declines Ontario’s request to send health-care workers

Alberta is “not in a position” to send health-care workers out of… Continue reading

Red Deer Public Schools will not pilot the new draft curriculum at its elementary schools. (File photo contributed by Red Deer Public Schools)
UPDATED: Red Deer Public Schools says no to piloting new curriculum

Alberta Teachers’ Association support school boards

Ontario Premier Doug Ford points on a COVID-19 caseload projection model graph during a press conference at Queen's Park, in Toronto, Friday, April 16, 2021. Ontario was set to backtrack on controversial new police powers to enforce stay-at-home orders implemented in the battle against COVID-19.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ford backtracks on new police COVID-19 powers amid intense backlash

TORONTO — Furious criticism of new anti-pandemic powers that allow police in… Continue reading

The official program for the National Commemorative Ceremony in honour of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh, sits on an empty pew prior to the ceremony at Christ Church Cathedral in Ottawa on Saturday, April 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Prince Philip remembered as ‘a man of great service’ during Canada’s memorial service

Canada’s commemorative ceremony in honour of the late Prince Philip offered a… Continue reading

CF Montreal head coach Wilfried Nancy speaks to his players during the team's practice Tuesday, March 16, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
CF Montreal puts on a show, defeating Toronto FC 4-2 in MLS season opener

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. — CF Montreal, carving open Toronto FC’s defence, cruised… Continue reading

Demonstrators using umbrellas as shields approach a point in a perimeter security fence during a protest over the fatal shooting of Daunte Wright during traffic stop, outside the Brooklyn Center Police Department, Friday, April 16, 2021, in Brooklyn Center, Minn. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Journalists allege police harassment at Minnesota protests

Some journalists covering protests over the police fatal shooting of Daunte Wright,… Continue reading

A container ship is docked in the Port of Montreal, Wednesday, February 17, 2021 in Montreal.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Montreal dockworkers begin weekend strikes as talks drag on

MONTREAL — Dockworkers at the Port of Montreal kicked off a series… Continue reading

Brad Dahr, 53, is facing numerous charges. (Photo contributed by Alberta RCMP)
Alberta man charged for alleged sexual offences against children

An Edmonton man has been charged for alleged sexual offences against children… Continue reading

A person walks past a COVID-19 mural designed by artist Emily May Rose on a rainy day during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto on Monday, April 12, 2021. Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off the job or coming into work while knowingly sick could warrant discipline in the workplace. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Risky pandemic behaviour off the clock could mean workplace discipline: lawyers

CALGARY — Employment lawyers say flouting COVID-19 public health orders when off… Continue reading

Vials containing Russia's Sputnik V vaccine for COVID-19 are seen at the San Marino State Hospital, in San Marino, Friday, April 9, 2021.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Antonio Calanni
China, Russia using their COVID-19 vaccines to gain political influence

OTTAWA — China and Russia have been using their locally produced COVID-19… Continue reading

Most Read