Friday April 16, 2021 | VICTORIA, BC
by Mary P Brooke, B.Sc., Editor | Island Social Trends
Today Premier John Horgan visited a pharmacy close to the BC Legislature to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
At the Thrifty Foods Pharmacy in James Bay he rolled up his left sleeve and took the jab. They showed proof of his vaccination with the little BC Health Immunization card up close to the camera, with the ‘evidence’ for all to see posted on Twitter: date of injection, product type (in this case AstraZeneca), the Lot Number, and the pharmacy location.
The Tweet was chipper and of course delivered the government’s push that people should take the first vaccine product that is offered: “Just got my AstraZeneca shot! It was easy, safe and I’m feeling good. I encourage all British Columbians to get one when it’s their turn. The vaccines are safe and they’re helping to save lives. The best vaccine is the first one offered to you.”
COVID vaccine pharmacy locations in the west shore:
In the west shore there are five pharmacies authorized to deliver the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine — five in Langford (Superstore – Loblaw Pharmacy, Walmart Pharmacy #3188, Pharmasave – Millstream, Medicine Shoppe #415, and Shoppers Drug Mart #278) and one in Colwood (Peoples Pharmacy on Sooke Road).
There is also one pharmacy in Sooke (Shoppers Drug Mart #223) now offering the vaccine.
Full list of pharmacy locations:
Locations for COVID-19 vaccinations at pharmacies in BC are posted on the BC Pharmacy Association website.
The list of pharmacies is updated a few times a week, sometimes even daily or multiple times a day. On April 1 there were about 100 pharmacies offering vaccines (those were in the lower mainland). Vancouver Island locations at first didn’t offer vaccines but were on the list starting April 11 (west shore list). Now there are approximately 600 pharmacies participating in the roll-out.
Who can get the vaccine:
As stated on the BC Pharmacy Association website, as of April 13, 2021, the province has removed the upper age limit of 65 years old for the AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine being offered in community pharmacies. That means anyone born in 1966 or earlier (55+) is able to be vaccinated for their first dose of AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD COVID-19 vaccine at community pharmacy.
How pharmacies are selected:
Today Island Social Trends asked the BC Pharmacy Association about how community pharmacies are selected to offer the COVID vaccine. The selection is made in coordination with public health and pharmacy owners/banners based on these criteria (as stated by the BC Pharmacy Association), said BC Pharmacy Communications Specialist Michael Mui:
- Priority communities identified by Regional Health Authorities.
- Pharmacies that can handle larger quantities of vaccines.
- Infrastructure in place to mobilize vaccine doses as they arrive (e.g. staff capacity and physical layout).
“We have a dedicated team working with public health and pharmacy stakeholders to identify new communities/locations all the time,” said Mui. In addition to the above criteria, the available supply of AstraZeneca vaccines in BC is of course also a factor.
“We would love to see the vaccine being offered in all community pharmacies in BC eventually,” the BC Pharmacy Association rep said.