Pharmacies to focus on vaccinating 65+

Posted at 8:45 PM, Jan 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-12 20:45:37-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — Many pharmacies in Western New York are now taking appointments to distribute the COVID-19 vaccine. This however doesn’t mean the pharmacy actually has the vaccine in hand.

Wegmans announced Monday it is taking appointments online for the vaccine distribution for those eligible. The website now says appointments are booked.

“We don’t have the vaccine yet,” said Kathy Sautter, spokesperson for Tops Markets.

Tops says it’s anticipating being able to take appointments online later this week.

“As soon as we have everything up and ready includIng the appointment software and the appropriate PPE to administer the vaccine, then we will start taking appointments,” Sautter said.

It’s best to check both the Tops and Wegmans website for vaccine information.

As for other pharmacies, some are pre-booking appointments by calling. It depends on where you go.

“A lot of our seniors don’t know how to use the computer, and don’t want to put their personal information in there,” said Hamburg resident Cheryl May.

May, of Hamburg has been working with the senior citizen popular in her community for decades. Now, with the COVID-19 vaccination appointments being taken online only, she has fear that many residents may miss out.

“Some operate computers and do it on their own, but there are a number of them who don’t trust the system,” she said of the seniors she helps.

We took this question to the Erie County Health Department who says, “That is a concern and is a concern that we will address going forward with a dedicated vaccination call center and extensive community outreach. Also, we have a mobile RV unit that will be available to provide vaccinations in neighborhoods. These initiatives will ramp up once we have a larger supply of vaccine. Right now, pharmacies are tasked with vaccinating older adults who might not have access to the internet. Employee groups within phase 1A and phase 1B generally have access to the internet, either at work or at home.”