Local pharmacies experience vaccine setbacks

Updated: Apr. 11, 2021 at 10:51 PM CDT
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LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) -As the push continues for Region 5 to increase vaccine administrations, local pharmacies are experiencing setbacks.

Jesse Vidrine, owner of Boudreaux’s New Drug Store explains recently, they’ve begun to experience a supply and demand issue within their client base.

“We were averaging three to four hundred vaccines a day, and since the threshold in which the age group has moved down, past 45 years of age, the demand has completely fallen off.”

Offering both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, he says they have more than enough.

“Younger people are less interested in getting the vaccine here, frankly. However, this is the most important thing that we need to remember, the vaccine, we’ve gotten too much of it. We’ve gotten too much vaccine, and the demand has fallen off.”

At Thrifty Way Pharmacy, Barry Laningham, owner, and pharmacist says it’s not demand. They’ve seen an increase of appointments since patient restrictions were lifted, rather it’s vaccine hesitancy especially with the second appointment

“They’ll make it to the first one and then we’re having trouble getting them to come back for the second one.”

They make the appointments for the second dose the same day recipients receive their first vaccine. However, they’ve seen an increase in last-minute cancellations and no-shows.

“They’re letting social media or their mild side effects influence their judgment on getting their final dose.”

He explains it sometimes puts them in a bind.

“It comes in a multidose vial, which we have 10 to 11 doses in each vial and we only have so many hours to utilize that. If we don’t utilize all those doses in that time period, we have to waste it, and that’s why people have to make appointments so a whole vial gets used.”

They offer last-second vaccines to customers but Laningham claims some in the community aren’t receiving the full immunity.

“Your percentages are going to be lower, you’re not going to get the 94, 95, or even the 66 or 76 percent, you’re going to get 30, 45. The chances of you catching COVID are going to be greater.”

Both pharmacies say they will not offer the Johnson and Johnson one-dose vaccine due to the low efficacy rates.

They have two-dose vaccines available.

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