BC Health Minister Adrian Dix delivered opening remarks for the BC Pharmacy Association's all-members town hall, held on July 14, 2021.
I'm Adrian Dix, BC Minister of Health, and I wanted to thank you for giving me a chance to say a few words at this all-staff BC Pharmacy Association meeting.
I'm here on the territories of the Musqueam, of the Squamish and of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. I'm down at the Vancouver cabinet offices right now, we've just talked to people in B.C. about emergency health services.
As you know, we've been living with the COVID-19 pandemic since March 2020. I've been living and working on it since January 2020, and I want to express my appreciation for the fundamental, extraordinary, immediate, courageous role that the BC Pharmacy Association has played in helping us addressing and deal with the pandemic, on behalf of the people that you represent — the great pharmacists of B.C., especially in community pharmacy, and as well the many people we all serve across the province.
Today, we're reaching about 5.9 million people who have received a COVID-19 vaccine, I should say 5.9 million shots have been administered.
A very significant number of people, almost 80% of those over 12 years old, 79.3%, have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, about 47.1% of people received their second dose.
And many of those people, 290,000 doses in community pharmacy, have received their vaccine at community pharmacies in our AstraZeneca program, and I want to express my appreciation to you in the BC Pharmacy Association because you played a crucial role.
People may not remember, although I know all of you do, how the BC pharmacy Association stepped up in March when we needed to get the AstraZeneca into people's arms and contributed in a significant and mighty way to our vaccine effort in British Columbia. And the impact of that effort is being seen in COVID case counts, in the reduction in hospitalization, and today, another day when we're announcing nobody passed away relating to COVID-19.
I also reflect on the work done in our influenza campaign this year — a very successful influenza campaign — which for the first time was overwhelmingly done by community pharmacies in B.C. and the leadership of the BC Pharmacy Association.
I know you, like me, have been working day after day in assisting to do all the work that you do, in dealing and helping pharmacists and people in communities deal with a pandemic.
BC pharmacy Association has stepped up every time we've asked them, and I want to say thank you for all you've done. Thank you for the continuing work you do, and let's keep working together to deliver even better health-care to people across B.C.
Thank you. Have a great meeting tonight, and thank you for giving me the chance to speak to you.
Minister of Health Adrian Dix
July 14, 2021
Opening Remarks, BCPhA Town Hall