Twelve Langley pharmacies are among the 150 across the Lower Mainland booking appointments for the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine today.
The provincial government invited those between the ages of 55 to 65 to call their local pharmacy and book an appointment to receive their vaccine
However, the owner of a Brookswood pharmacy said the communication with local businesses wasn’t quite as clear.
Shrief Ahmed, who operates Remedy’sRx, called the roll-out “unorganized.”
“I just wish the government and the College [of Pharmacists of B.C.] had contacted us first,” he said.
As of 3 p.m. on Wednesday his pharmacy had not yet received the vials of vaccine, but appointments at the Brookswood business were fully booked by 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday– a half an hour after the store opened.
“I don’t want to sound negative,” he said. “I appreciate the opportunity the government has given us, but it has been unorganized.”
Ahmed said he is expecting 100 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine Wednesday, March 31; once it arrives staff will contact those who booked with the pharmacy.
“Unfortunately we’re not taking anymore appointments,” he noted.
Should the pharmacy have any “no-shows,” Ahmed said they will offer those vaccines on a first-come first-serve basis.
Canada joined some other nations in stopping the use of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine on anyone younger than 55 due to the uncertainty around clot issues.
The urgency for pharmacies to administer the vaccine comes as this batch is set to expire at midnight on Friday, Ahmed explained.
In a Tuesday news release, the province said that Immunize BC is partnering with community pharmacies in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions to try and combat the recent spike in COVID cases.
“The AstraZeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine is another important tool in our immunization program to get us past this surge of COVID-19 cases. We know from the millions of doses used worldwide, and especially in the U.K., it is highly effective and the benefits to those over age 55 far outweigh the very real risks of getting COVID-19,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer.
According to the British Columbia Pharmacy Association, the following locations are booking appointments:
– Aldergrove Save-On-Foods, 26310 Fraser Hwy.
– Aldergrove Shoppers Drug Mart, 26310 Fraser Hwy.
– Brookswood Remedy’sRx, #105 – 4061 200th St.
– Langley Costco, 20499 64th Ave.
– Langley Superstore, 19851 Willowbrook Dr.
– Langley PharmaChoice, #150 – 20330 88th Ave.
– Langley City Save-On-Foods, 20151 Fraser Hwy.
– Willowbrook Save-On-Foods, #1 – 20255 64th Ave.
– Walnut Grove Save-On-Foods, 8840 210th St.
– Walnut Grove Shoppers Drug Mart, 20159 88th Ave.
– Willowbrook Shoppers Drug Mart, 205 – 6339 200th St.
– Murrayville Shoppers Drug Mart, 100 – 22196 50th Ave.
For a complete list and a link to each B.C. pharmacy website visit the pharmacy association at www.bcpharmacy.ca/resource-centre/covid-19/vaccination-locations.
People aged 55 to 65 in the Vancouver Coastal and Fraser Health regions may call a participating pharmacy and book a vaccine appointment. Please do not phone health authority call centres, and only call participating pharmacies. @VCHhealthcare @Fraserhealth #CovidBC
— BC Government News (@BCGovNews) March 31, 2021