British Columbia Sun

Hefty workload, exhaustion struck pharmacists in urgency for COVID tests, vaccines


Key takeaways: 

  • ‘I’m more tired this week than I have been the whole pandemic,’ states one Ontario pharmacist.
  • Rush for covid tests and vaccines. 

More workload for pharmacists as a rush in covid tests and vaccines: 

At Kristen’s Pharmacy in Southampton, Ont., the day starts with the team scrambling in for their COVID-19 symptom screenings, temperature checks and every day quick tests. Doors and phone lines unlock at 9 a.m., and from then till approximately noon, it’s “utter pandemonium,” according to the proprietor and pharmacist Kristen Watt. Source –

Eight phones ring off the pin; the pharmacy accepts both walk-ins and appointments; individuals drive from 70 kilometres away because they can’t get a place at their local COVID-19 testing zone. 

Pharmacy employees across the nation are working with what has become an intolerable workload, especially in current weeks, as areas speed up the rollout of COVID-19 vaccine boosters and ramp up the distribution of quick tests — all to combat the Omicron variant.

At pharmacies where patients can get vaccinated, tested and pick up a rapid-test kit, the inflow of walk-ins, phone calls and need for appointments has been unstoppable. The pile of paperwork that stacks up with every test and shot can handle hours to load out. 

Also read: Canada oppugning U.S. softwood taxes under the recent NAFTA pact

Heavy workload for pharmacists in Canada in rush for covid tests and vaccines

And that’s all on top of a pharmacist’s stock, non-pandemic duties.

“There’s no other way to put it right now: We are just burnt out,” Watt stated. Source –

“We are dealing as much as we can with everwcanng wecan because on top of all this COVID stuff, our everyday job of being pharmacists and dispensing medications and taking care of our patients hasn’t changed.” Source –

Hurried eligibility differences ‘ill-advised,’ states pharmacist

There was a break in pharmacy action in Ontario in the fall, when 90 per cent of the region’s suitable residents were vaccinated and boosters were not yet unrestricted to the wider public, stated Justin Bates, CEO of the Ontario Pharmacists Association. 

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