Booster appointments hard to find in Lambton as province tells public health to use Moderna for people 30+

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If Lambton residents can book a COVID-19 booster, many will be receiving the Moderna vaccine.

Ontario’s supply of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine are temporarily delayed.

Health units across the province have been told to limit the available Pfizer doses to people between 12 and 29. Anyone over 30 will receive Moderna vaccine. The two vaccines are seen as interchangeable.

There’s no time frame on how long this will last.

In Lambton, people looking for appointments today are not finding a lot of times available.

The last appointments before the Christmas break are on Wednesday. The appointments Point Edward Optimist Hall are booked already. Walk ins for first and second doses for those over 12 will be accepted.

Meantime, public health has added one more walk in clinic at the Forest location – The Shores Arena – on Wednesday. But officials say only people over 70 will be able to get their third booster at the time. Elderly people are most vulnerable to severe illness due to COVID-19.

This morning, The Independent did a check of the Lambton vaccine portal for adults seeking the third booster. The earliest appointments we found were at The Shores Jan. 26. There were only five at the time.

For children, there were vaccine appointment dates available at Lambton College for Jan. 10 and several days after that.

The public health website warns; “At this time, Lambton Public Health cannot guarantee everyone will receive their third dose at the minimum interval. We will, however, continue to open additional clinics to meet demands as needed, so please be patient and check the listing of our upcoming clinics regularly.”

It advises people to call one of nine local pharmacies giving COVID-19 shots. In Petrolia, Hogan’s pharmacy has an appointment only clinic tomorrow where an extra pharmacist has been brought in to administer vaccines. However Pharmacist Margaret Kreibich tells The Independent on a regular day, staff can complete about 14 vaccine appointments between regular business.

Sarah Milner, executive director of the Central Lambton Family Health Team, says they have received some extra vaccine for booster shots which they are administering now.

“We have received some supply from public health and are administering what we can,” she says in an email. “The demand far exceeds the supply we have.

“We are not running mass clinics due to limited staffing. We are also in the midst of flu shot season and increased COVID testing demand,” Milner says adding, “We are doing our best to vaccinate which patients we can and trying to increase capacity where we can.”