Shingles vaccine roll-out plans absent
In late November the government committed to having an early January roll-out of the Shingrix vaccine for all Island seniors who wish to receive it, but now only weeks away, operational plans are still not available to Island pharmacies.
“Pharmacies across P.E.I. still don’t know when they will be receiving the Shingrix vaccine or if the plan has been delayed. Negotiations with the Province continue to lack clarity on fair compensation, availability and support,” says Liberal Health Critic Robert Henderson.
“We are hearing from pharmacists across the Island that the lack of communications on the roll-out, is causing worry. This comes at a time where the demands for flu vaccines and Covid-19 boosters are already stretching them in every direction. Pharmacies are being inundated with calls wondering what’s going on and government needs to listen to their concerns,” Henderson adds.
Shingles is a viral infection that causes a painful rash. It is caused by the varicella-zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. It is estimated that 30 per cent of adults will develop shingles in their lifetime and 10 per cent will develop lingering and debilitating nerve pain.
“Pharmacists play a critical role in delivering many healthcare services for Islanders and we need to do everything possible to help them continue to do the important work that they do. Islanders deserve equal access to Shingrix in all communities across the province. This government needs to provide the P.E.I. Pharmacists Association with a consistent and comprehensive plan to ensure that pharmacies have what they need to deliver this important vaccine quickly and efficiently in order to protect our seniors,” says Henderson.