BOAZ, Ala. – Demand is high for the COVID-19 vaccine in Alabama, but supply is low. It has some independent community pharmacists frustrated.
One in Boaz told News 19 Wednesday they want to help vaccinate their communities, but their hands are tied until they get more doses.
There’s an appeal like none other for local pharmacies such as Boaz Discount Drugs.
“A lot of our customers really trust us. They know us all by name,” said pharmacist Rachel Lambert.
Lambert said they have seven vaccinators available to serve three counties.
She added they also have a list of more than 800 people ready for their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.
“In this area, they’re an hour away from any mas clinic that’s been giving vaccines right now. We haven’t even reached the over 75 population and we’re already to the next set of people who are over 65,” added Lambert.
The pharmacy has gotten and administered two, 200 dose batches of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, but despite their best efforts, they are still in limbo on when they’ll get more.
“We’ve ordered on a daily basis. We check on it pretty much hourly. We’re ready whenever the vaccine comes in,” explained Lambert.
She told News 19 they could host large vaccination clinics in their extra space, administer doses in the parking lot for anyone not wanting to come inside and host on-site vaccinations for schools and/or businesses if they had more doses.
“We just want the community pharmacies to have a chance to get to the people who are not being served. We had so many of our customers who wanted to come here because they didn’t want to go into the hospital and risk getting sick in the hospital. They just felt more comfortable coming here,” Lambert said.
Boaz Discount Drugs is not alone in the problem.
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) released the following statement regarding the issue:
The Alabama Department of Public Health (ADPH) appreciates the ongoing commitment of providers regarding COVID 19 vaccine. As demand for vaccine is significantly higher than supply, there are at least 700 approved ImmPRINT entities have not been able to receive vaccine yet. Product will remain limited until an additional vaccine or vaccines are approved and production increases.Alabama Department of Public Health
Until more vaccine become available, Boaz Discount Drugs employees said they will wait anxiously to vaccinate the community.