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‘I feel defeated’: A pharmacist wants answers after her store did not receive vaccine shipment from Pa. Dept. of Health


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    CHAMBERSBURG, Pennsylvania (WPMT) — A Franklin County pharmacy could run out of COVID-19 vaccine doses by Saturday.

Healthcare professionals at Park Avenue Pharmacy in Chambersburg say they requested nearly 2,000 Pfizer first and second dose shots from the Pennsylvania Department of Health or DOH.

As of 3 p.m. Thursday, the shipment hadn’t arrived, and workers hadn’t heard when the doses could either.

“I feel defeated,” said Pharmacist Jenny Hopple. “We tried to reach out several times to the Department of Health, and unfortunately, all of our requests to talk to somebody and get answers have not had a reply to it.”

Hopple specifically requested 1,950 shots — 975 first doses and 975 second shots. Typically, Hopple says she receives notice from the DOH if requests are confirmed or denied. With no answers, the pharmacist decided to call the manufacturer.

“We reached out to Pfizer,” explained Hopple. “They say they have plenty of vaccine. They wish they could send us a shipment.”

Without a shipment, more than 300 people from the Path Valley area, a rural part of Franklin County, will be impacted.

“There are a lot of patients over there that can’t get to a facility,” explained Hopple.

Hopple decided to take doses to those patients unable to travel or access a computer in the area. Park Avenue Pharmacy previously held a vaccine clinic there. They were set to administer people’s second dose on Sunday.

“I was actually volunteering that day for the clinic,” explained Sharon Peppernick of Franklin County. “The amount of people who came through and they were like, ‘thank you so much. Thank you so much for doing this.’ I don’t think it’s right. We heard for so long, ‘everything is available, available, available,’ but it’s really not.”

The PA Dept. of Health asks people to have patience. FOX43 contacted the department by email. A spokesperson responded to our request writing, “We are actively working to find out what might be happening with the 2nd dose vaccine for this pharmacy and will be in touch with more. Meanwhile, we want to remind people that their second dose will arrive within the CDC-recommended interval. Some appointments may need to be shifted by a week or two, but the vaccine will arrive.”

“It is very frustrating, and it doesn’t need to be — not when you hear from the mouth of the manufacturer there is plenty to be had,” added Hopple.

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