Important Guidance for B.C. Pharmacies
This guide is subject to ongoing updates. Please continue to check for updates regularly.
June 3: British Columbia has announced that the Province will proceed with offering patients who received their first COVID-19 immunization of an AstraZeneca vaccine to have either a second dose of AstraZeneca OR one of the two mRNA vaccines currently available in B.C. – Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna.
The recommended timeframe between the first and second doses of AstraZeneca is 8 to 12 weeks.
|If you received your first dose at pharmacy:||Your pharmacy will contact you:|
|Between March 31 and April 13||Between June 7 and June 20|
|Between April 14 and April 27||Between June 21 and July 5|
|April 28 and after||July 6 and after|
All patients who received the first shot of AstraZeneca are eligible to receive a second dose of AstraZeneca. In accordance with public health guidelines, pharmacists when contacting patients for a second dose of AstraZeneca should inform them that they can choose to receive an mRNA vaccine at a public health clinic instead. Patients can visit the BCCDC's information on second doses to help them determine which vaccine they feel is right for them.
The beginning of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in community pharmacies began March 31, 2021 with a focus on the Lower Mainland. This began with the selection of more than 100 pharmacies in the Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health authorities identified by the Province.
As of April 20, more than 600 community pharmacies in B.C. have been involved in the roll-out of the Astra Zeneca/COVISHIELD vaccine program. On April 29, 2021, the Province lowered the age eligibility for the in-pharmacy vaccine to those born in the year 1991 or earlier.
By all measures, community pharmacists have stepped up to help British Columbians gain important protection against the virus.
Selection of these initial pharmacies was based on the current geography of COVID-19 cluster and cases per public health's requirements. The initial roll-out of vaccine doses went to locations across Fraser Health and Vancouver Coastal Health authorities, then expanded to communities on Vancouver Island and in the Interior and Northern Health regions. Community pharmacies have been selected within those regions based on critical criteria established to ensure efficiency and rapid access to vaccines and include:
- Priority communities identified by Regional Health Authorities.
- Pharmacies that can handle larger quantities of vaccines.
- Infrastructure in place to mobilize vaccine as they arrive (e.g., staff capacity and physical layout).
It is critically important that you and your teams review the “COVID-19 Immunization Guide for B.C. Pharmacies” as it has specific information pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccinations including PharmaNet data entry, PINs, inventory management instructions and more. This guide will continue to be updated as information is constantly changing.
Please check back often to ensure you have the latest information.
NOTE: As of April 6, 2021 the COVID-19 Immunization Guide for B.C. Pharmacies PDF version has moved to an HTML version only. If you downloaded this PDF, which was last updated on April 2, 2021, please visit the online version for latest updates.