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B.C. pharmacists ready to administer COVID vaccine when green-lit by province

Last Updated Mar 16, 2021 at 6:18 pm PDT

FILE - In this Jan. 21, 2021 file photo a medical staff member prepares the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at Tudor Ranch in Mecca, Calif. With vaccination against COVID-19 in full swing, social platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter say they’ve stepped up their fight against misinformation that aims to undermine trust in the vaccines. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Getting a COVID-19 shot at your local pharmacy is part of B.C.'s vaccination plan

B.C. is the only province COVID-19 shots aren't an option at your local pharmacy

The pharmacists association says they are ready to go as soon as they get the call

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) — Unlike the rest of Canada, getting a COVID-19 vaccination at a B.C. pharmacy is not an option yet, but it is apart of the province’s vaccination plan.

However, head of the BC Pharmacists Association Annette Robinson tells NEWS 1130 she is confident that day is coming soon, saying they are in constant contact with the province and they’re ready to go when called.

“There are so many factors that will cause things to change dramatically,” she explains. “It all depends on how fast we’re able to know which vaccines will be provided, how many and where they’re going to be going and how they’re going to be distributed.”

Robinson says they’ll be able to ramp things up quickly once the province comes to them.

“We’re trained and we’ve been working along with our health care partners in these mass immunization clinics,” she says. “When we’re called upon to provide the same vaccination or others that have a different cold chain, then we’re going to be able to step up and provide the same level of care,” she says.

Health Minister Adrian Dix says the focus on age priority and cold storage required for Moderna and Pfizer vaccines is “an impediment to pharmacy vaccinations at this point,” but they will eventually be called upon.

He sees shots being offered at community pharmacies as playing a larger role when it comes to second doses.

Robinson says there’s no doubt pharmacists have already proven what they’re capable of.

“Look at our most previous flu vaccinations where pharmacists provided over a million vaccinations to patients,” says Robinson. “So, I know that they are trusted health care professionals and when they (the province) are ready and have a plan in place, they will be calling upon us.”

Dix says more than a million influenza shots were given at B.C. pharmacies this past winter, so they know immunizations can be done safely.