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Walgreens cancels woman's vaccine because it was scheduled during lunch break

Posted at 4:53 PM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 17:11:58-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A 71-year-old Western New York woman is “fuming” today according to her son.

She successfully scheduled a vaccine appointment at a Walgreens Pharmacy after weeks of trying to get through.

Then, an hour before her Friday appointment, the pharmacy called to cancel her appointment cause it was during the technician’s lunch break.

“They said it was their lunch break, they said it never should have been scheduled during that time. Said it was because it was their lunch break they have to cancel it,” said her son Scott Ferguson.

“Furthermore, they said we’ll keep you on the list if we happen to come by an extra dose, we’ll give you a call.”

This all happened after Ferguson’s mother got a confirmation call Thursday for her scheduled vaccine appointment.

The Walgreens VP of Pharmacy Operations Rina Shah said on Good Morning America Friday that patience is required because of vaccine eligibility.

“You can go online, you can also call us. Call our store. And for the stores that will be offering vaccine, they will be able to also schedule an appointment when appointments are available.”

But, one woman we spoke with said that system isn’t working as directed.

If you call the pharmacy, said Allison McLean, they will schedule using the exact same system as someone could from their home computer.

“They use the same website we’re using.”

The site also lets people schedule first and second doses separately — something that does not align with the state and Erie County rollouts.

“Then you go to schedule your second dose and say they don’t have any appointments. Well they don’t schedule out more than 7 days so how can I schedule a second dose?”

Shah said people can schedule first and second doses at different pharmacy locations.

“For the shot, you can get it at one location and when you schedule your second dose, you can actually change where you want to get that vaccine.”

For many Western New Yorkers — they can’t even get through to schedule shot number one.