CEDARBURG, Wis. - On the same day Ye Olde Pharmacy in Cedarburg got the green light from the state to receive shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine, they were told there were no more doses to send. About six weeks later, those shots are on the way, but the pharmacy is facing another dilemma.
"We’re getting vaccines but we don’t have enough people to fill the slots," said Rachel Anderson, PharmD. "We’re finding if people wanted to get it and they’re eligible, they found a way to get it."
The pharmacy's very first shipment -- 54 doses of Pfizer's vaccine, nine vials with six doses each -- is slated to arrive Tuesday, March 16 with vaccinations planned Wednesday, Thursday and Friday of this week.
"The technician will bring the patient and the clipboard back to me here," said Anderson, a pharmcist at Ye Olde Pharmacy. "We're going to have four chairs spread out because we're going to be doing, every 15 minutes, a vaccination."
But Anderson said on Monday, March 15 more than two dozen slots remained empty.
"We're trying to fill in that gap until we get to the new eligibility criteria," said Anderson.
Like many distribution sites, Anderson says they are now grappling with this question: Do you vaccinate someone who is willing to get the shot, even if they aren't eligible, or wait for someone who is, but run the risk that vials could go down the drain?
"We would obviously try to schedule anyone who is eligible first," said Anderson. "If they aren’t eligible quite yet or they are going to be eligible upcoming, they can call us and we can put them on the list."
Bottom line, she says it's crucial doses do not go to waste.
"The doses need to go into arms," said Anderson. "There is no reason for any dose to be wasted. If one more person is vaccinated, it is the way it is. We’ve got to get those doses into arms."
If you are eligible to get the vaccine, you can call Ye Olde Pharmacy to schedule an appointment at 262-375-0010. Anderson says if you aren't eligible, you may still sign up for their waitlist over the phone; then they will contact you if and when they have a dose that needs to be administered.
Second doses of Pfizer's vaccine are being scheduled three weeks after the first.