ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – This season’s Covid vaccine, once again might be hard to get ahold of. State health officials are now warning people about shortages across several parts of New Mexico. That is what pharmacists across New Mexico are seeing with the COVID-19 vaccine this season.
Post-pandemic commercialization has changed the way the vaccine’s getting paid for. “It’s very expensive, so when you have small clinics, you have a big outlay of funds to buy this vaccine. I think that a barrier too because it’s something no one had to deal with in the past three years,” said Miranda Durham, Chief Medical Officer, New Mexico Department of Health.
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NMDOH recently posted a warning about the low availability of COVID-19 vaccines in some parts of New Mexico. The vaccines used to be bought and distributed by the federal government. Now, it’s all in private hands and smaller, local pharmacies say they’re being put at the back of the line when getting orders.
“We rubbed every two nickels together that we had to come up with as much vaccines as we possibly could and the market took it all in three weeks,” said Uri Bassan, Immunization Program Manager, Best Buy Drugs and Rx Innovation.
Providers are spending roughly $120 per vaccine. Bassan said it’s been tough for his smaller pharmacy even taking out a loan on his mortgage to get a supply that’s now gone. “It wasn’t taken very lightly by me that after the 8,000 doses ran out last week, that I had to cancel all of our clinics starting this week. It was heartbreaking for me. I personally feel like I failed,” said Basan.
He said he could order more but suppliers are asking for advanced payment, and he doesn’t know when the shots will be delivered. In turn, he’s canceled 40 vaccination clinics through November.