‘Human error’ reason Sask. pharmacies left without COVID-19 vaccines for Wednesday appointments

Health Minister Paul Merriman said on Wednesday afternoon that a mistake was the reason why many Wednesday COVID-19 vaccine appointments at pharmacies were delayed.

The Ministry of Health shared on Wednesday there was a miscommunication between Saskatchewan’s Drug Plan and Extended Benefits Branch and a pharmaceutical distributor. The error means doses will instead be in pharmacies on Thursday after hundreds of pharmacies around the province had to notify residents to have appointment times changed.

Merriman apologized and said it will not happen again.

“There was a date that was plugged in to the system for everything to be picked up and it was supposed to be the day before,” explained the minister. “It was a simple human error and we’re doing our best that it’s double checked and triple checked next time we ship out.”

The health ministry noted that a plan was being established to set the date of delivery for doses this week to Wednesday, but the miscommunication resulted in the delivery date staying on Thursday.

AstraZeneca update next week

More information could soon be announced by the Saskatchewan government regarding AstraZeneca and second shots.

Merriman said they have received some initial information from the federal government that an AstraZeneca shipment could arrive next week.

“We’re going to be looking at how we are going to allocate that out,” mentioned the health minister. “Obviously they will be used for second doses, but how and when we are going to do that will depend on how and when the shipment arrives.”

Merriman added that people who received an AstraZeneca vaccine will be contacted immediately so they are aware they can come get their second dose of that particular vaccine.

About 72,000 to 73,000 AstraZeneca doses have been administered in Saskatchewan.

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