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"Plan way ahead," COVID vaccine supply issues frustrate those trying to get new booster

COVID vaccine delivery delays lead to supply issues at Mass. pharmacies
COVID vaccine delivery delays lead to supply issues at Mass. pharmacies 02:17

MASHPEE - Roughly a week after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control gave the green light for the updated COVID-19 vaccine, delivery delays are leading to supply issues at pharmacies in Massachusetts. 

The CDC started urging people to get the updated vaccine as COVID cases started increasing across the country. Marianne Valle of Mashpee is a nurse and has immunocompromised loved ones, along with an 89-year-old father. Valle said she was doing everything she could to avoid getting them sick. 

Related: Some planning to get new COVID vaccine get bills for nearly $200

Earlier this week, Valle made her first appointment for the updated COVID vaccine at a Walgreens in Marstons Mills. When she arrived, she was told there was no pharmacist on site to administer her shot. 

Valle made a second appointment for a Walgreens in Wareham. She made the 45-minute drive only to be told the store was out of vaccines, despite her confirmed appointment. Valle said she made a third effort at a Walgreens in Falmouth. 

"I drive yet again 25-30 minutes there, only to be told, we don't have vaccine. We are out," she told WBZ-TV. 

Adding to the frustration, Valle said none of the pharmacies told her about the shortage prior to her arrival. 

Valle said she tried making an appointment with CVS but they were booked for the next week. 

"It's frustrating. It's really frustrating to know you are out there running around trying to get it done to protect your family members and you can't," said Valle. 

A Walgreens spokesperson said the company was aware of supply issues and is working with the supplier to expedite shipments.

The Walgreens statement continued: "We remain focused on driving equitable and convenient access to life-saving vaccines for our patients, and we will provide updates once inventory has arrived at the impacted stores." 

CVS acknowledged similar shipment issues that led to some appointments being delayed. 

On Wednesday, the Biden Administration acknowledge nationwide billing and supply issues with this latest distribution of vaccine. They suggested the issues were temporary and should be resolved by the weekend. 

Valle said she had made an appointment on Friday at a Stop & Shop, although it was unclear if the vaccine would be there by then.

"People need to know it's not easy to get," said Valle. "If you think you are going to get it, plan way ahead."  

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