East Bay residents turned away from CFS vaccine booster deals as they face shortages

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) — As Pfizer boosters become available to people age 65 and older or those with underlying health conditions, we’re getting reports of Bay Area residents coming to their appointment to find out — there are no boosters.

October 5, the day Elisabeth Renner and William Bent were to receive their Pfizer booster injection. They don’t know each other, but they face the same setbacks today.

“I originally had an appointment scheduled for the Clayton CVS today, but they called me and said their refrigerator was broken. So I made another appointment online for this site,” Renner said.

RELATED: At least 1 million people got unauthorized 3rd booster shot: CDC

Luz Pena: “You came here today and what did they say?”

Elizabeth Renner: “We don’t have that.”

William Bent got a text this morning an hour before his booster appointment.

“At 11.15 am I received a text message that the appointment had been cancelled,” said Bent.

Elizabeth Renner did not receive a text message. Instead, she drove 40 minutes to Walnut Creek to hear the pharmacist’s news: “Sorry we don’t have it. Schedule for next week. It’s crazy,” adding, “I’m going to make it, but there are people being pushed by their family or something and they come in and they have something negative and they just go, “Well, it’s not meant to be. I’m not getting a vaccine.” That’s the sad part.”

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We know at least these two CVS locations: one in Montclair and a second in Walnut Creek, where CVS employees put up signs to let customers know they’re out of boosters.

According to the CVS Pharmacist at the 2000 Mountain Blvd, Montclair location, they dispense nearly 80 vaccines a day. Zero today.

“I thought I had an appointment for Friday for my booster shot. I was just told there was a sign on the door,” said Montclair resident Jan Yager.

Contra Costa County says they only learned about the shortage of CFS boosters today.

“This is new information for all of us today. It’s always frustrating for someone to make an appointment for a vaccine and then find out it’s not available,” said Contra Costa County Supervisor John Gioia.

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A CVS spokesperson responded:

“While our stores are still receiving booster dose shipments and there is no widespread shortage of vaccines, the high demand for booster shots in some locations may be greater than the original allocation we received from the government.

We have delivered more than 34 million COVID-19 vaccine doses to date and we encourage patients to book vaccine appointments on CVS.com or the CVS Pharmacy app.
We continue to meet the demand for COVID-19 testing and vaccinations, in addition to providing trusted pharmacy care and innovative health solutions to our patients. Our teams remain flexible in meeting customer needs in a dynamic environment. With flu cases expected to increase this fall and continued demand for COVID-19 services, we have launched a nationwide recruiting campaign to help us continue to meet the healthcare needs of our communities. While there may be isolated cases of appointment cancellations, our stores continue to receive booster-dose shipments and there is no widespread shortage of vaccines.”

A reaction Elizabeth Renner didn’t approve of after trying twice to get a booster shot through CVS.

“It doesn’t solve the problem of identifying people ahead of time and not telling them at all,” Renner said.

CVS has not given any details on when these pharmacies will start getting booster injections again.

Alameda and Contra Costa counties get their vaccines from the state, saying their vaccine sites in the county are open to booster shots.

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