Stone Road Pharmacy in Virgil has started holding evening vaccination clinics to try to reach more people who want to get the jab.
Head pharmacist and owner Julie Dyck said the pharmacy received 300 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine on April 15.
Evening vaccine clinics at the pharmacy started on Monday and run from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.
“For evening clinics I'm able to squeeze people in a lot faster. You don't have the same foot traffic coming in, so it can just be vaccinations,” Dyck said.
People can call the pharmacy at 905-468-3000 to be put on the waitlist for when more vaccines are available. There already are hundreds of people on the list, she said.
The pharmacy administered two-thirds of the COVID vaccines it received in one week, averaging 40 shots per day.
Dyck said she is not sure when the next shipment will arrive, telling The Lake Report that the Ministry of Health isn’t giving any answers and “has asked us not to ask them.”
Despite that, she said Stone Road Pharmacy feels fortunate to be one of three pharmacies in Niagara-on-the-Lake that is able to offer COVID-19 vaccinations. Simpson's Pharmacies two locations are also dispensing vaccines.
“I think we are very lucky,” Dyck said. “Currently, a city like Thorold has none, so this is pretty special that people have three different opportunities.”
St. Catharines resident Barb Armstrong arrived early for the first vaccine clinic on Monday night.
Originally the closest place her husband could find a vaccine appointment was in Mississauga before getting a call for a spot in Niagara.
“Shortly after, he was able to get us closer to home, which was here, so that’s awesome,” Armstrong said. “He got his in St. Catharines Saturday and I'm getting mine today.”
Though she did have mixed feelings because of negative publicity about the AstraZeneca shot, she knew she wanted her vaccine as soon as possible.
“I have a lot of friends in the health care profession who said, 'You know, getting this one is better than none at the moment,' ” Armstrong said.
“I’m excited, though. It’s step one towards maybe normal.”
Dyck said she's been giving flu shots for 10 years. “And that's been great to help the community. But this is rewarding to another level.”
People are so excited they’re showing up with their sleeves already rolled up. “And when they come in you can't see their smile, but you can feel it.”
Though people still have many questions about COVID-19 vaccines, Dyck said she is happy that she can help give some answers and advice to people in the community.