VESTAVIA HILLS, Ala. (WIAT) — The Centers for Disease Control recommends everyone ages six months or older get the updated COVID-19 vaccine. However, some Alabamians are experiencing trouble scheduling vaccinations at local and major pharmacies.
Liberty Pharmacy in Vestavia Hills says they have a long list of people waiting to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Owner Jim Pareah says the vaccine delay is due to a supply issue.
“We used to be able to get it from the federal government. Now we have to get it from our wholesaler and unfortunately, it’s unavailable through our wholesaler currently,” Pareah said.
Pareah says when the federal government supplied the vaccine to pharmacies, patients could receive it for free. Now that wholesale drug distributors provide the vaccine, patients will have to go through their insurance provider to cover the cost.
He says their distributor has not given them a timeline of when the vaccine will be available.
Major pharmaceutical chains are also experiencing delays in receiving the vaccine. We reached out to CVS for an interview Thursday. They declined but gave a statement saying in part quote:
“Our pharmacies are receiving the updated COVID-19 vaccine on a rolling basis, but we are experiencing supplier delivery delays.”
Pareah says not having the COVID-19 vaccine is not having a significant impact on business at his pharmacy, but he says patients are worried.
“Of course, we want to give patients the service that they want. If there is a vaccine that they want to have, we would like to provide it,” Pareah said. “So it’s a little frustrating that we’re not able to provide but hopefully we’ll be able to provide it soon.”