B.C. pharmacies are playing a pivotal role in providing more options for people seeking booster shots to protect against COVID-19.
More than 350 pharmacies in 80 communities throughout the province are now administering vaccines, with another approximately 700 pharmacies expected to join by mid-January 2022.
“We’re expanding the breadth of our effort and making it more convenient than ever for British Columbians to book a COVID-19 vaccine with their local participating pharmacies,” said Adrian Dix, Minister of Health. “Thanks to more pharmacies joining the effort, people can book an appointment for a time that works best for them at a location close to home.”
By early 2022, pharmacies will deliver the majority of booster shots for everyone eligible through the Get Vaccinated registration and booking system.
“Pharmacies have been delivering COVID-19 vaccines since April 2021,” said Dr. Bonnie Henry, B.C.’s provincial health officer. “We welcome them playing an even bigger role now in delivering vaccines as part of the Province’s ongoing immunization campaign against COVID-19.”
Those 12 and older seeking to join the more than 88% of people in the province who have received both doses of a COVID-19 vaccine can receive their first or second dose of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines through a pharmacy. Booster shots are approved for those 18 years of age and older, and British Columbians will receive an invitation when it is their time to book a booster appointment, approximately six to eight months after the second dose.
“Pharmacies are located across British Columbia in communities both large and small. Pharmacists’ knowledge, training and ability to provide vaccinations means we can help provide British Columbians with that extra protection against COVID-19,” said Geraldine Vance, CEO, BC Pharmacy Association.
“This partnership with pharmacies enhances the provincewide effort to provide community-based and convenient places to get your booster shot,” said Dr. Penny Ballem, executive lead of B.C.’s COVID-19 Immunization Program.
- The expanded role of pharmacies follows a successful trial that assessed whether pharmacies could connect to the Province’s Get Vaccinated registration and booking system.
- During the week of Dec. 6, 2021, more than 25,000 appointments for booster shots were made at B.C. pharmacies through the Get Vaccinated registration and booking system.
- Pharmacists were first allowed to provide vaccinations to British Columbians in 2009 during the H1N1 pandemic.
- Younger age groups will be invited to get their vaccine at clinics tailored for children aged five to 11. Pharmacies will not give the pediatric vaccine to children under 12.
To learn more about getting vaccinated and registering online for your COVID-19 booster shot: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/register#register
To read Canada’s National Advisory Committee on Immunization’s guidance on booster COVID-19 vaccine doses:
A backgrounder follows.
For images of Dix, Henry and Ballem visiting a pharmacy involved in delivering COVID-19 vaccine, visit: https://www.flickr.com/gp/bcgovphotos/dL5498