New Brunswick Pharmacists Frustrated With Mixed Messages From Provincial Government – New Brunswick | The Canadian News

Pharmacists were surprised by Prime Minister Blaine Higgs’ announcement on Wednesday that New Brunswick residents over the age of 50 can receive their booster shots five months after their last dose, rather than six months as recommended by the Advisory Committee. National Immunization.

They are usually informed of these decisions in advance, but this time they heard it the same way everyone else: on the news.

According to Jake Reid, executive director of the New Brunswick Pharmacists Association, pharmacies were immediately inundated with calls.

Unaware of what had just been announced, staff were unable to respond to customer questions and were left struggling to figure out what was going on. This confusion led to the frustration of clients eager to receive their booster dose.

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“There was a report from a pharmacy that I spoke to that said that unfortunately I had to call the police because they were afraid of violence from a customer who came in and said they hoped they could get their appointment right away,” Reid said.

“We have even heard reports of people throwing things.”

Reid said many pharmacies told him that customers would come hurling verbal insults at staff.

He added that there were also inventory concerns that came with the surprise announcement.

“The way the inventory of COVID vaccines works in a pharmacy is that they have to be ordered by a certain date and about two weeks in advance,” Reid said.

He said that with the introduction of pediatric vaccines, pharmacists were notified well in advance to prepare the inventory.

Pharmacists already have a lot on their plate

Dieppe pharmacist Andrew Drover says that even under normal circumstances, December is the busiest month of the year for pharmacists as customers rush to get their prescriptions before winter break.

“The prescription drug count generally goes up 50 to 100 percent the week before Christmas,” Drover said. “That work and the requirements of the pharmacy teams have not changed because we are making COVID vaccines.”

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He said he understands why people want to get their booster shot as soon as possible, but asks for patience at a time when pharmacists and healthcare workers in general are widely dispersed.

“We’ll get them for a date,” Drover said. “There are many vaccines.”

He explained that immunity does not stop completely six months after the second dose. Rather, it begins to gradually disappear between six and eight months.

– with files from Travis Fortnum

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