Important Guidance for B.C. Pharmacies
This guide is subject to ongoing updates. Please continue to check for updates regularly.
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 19, 2021, the Province lowered the age eligibility for the in-pharmacy vaccine to those born in the year 1981 or earlier.
By all measures, community pharmacists have stepped up to help British Columbians gain important protection against the virus.
The list of selected pharmacies is available on the BCPhA website for the public.
As more pharmacies come online, we will continue to update the list. The ImmunizeBC vaccine locator will be eventually updated to include all community vaccine providers that provide COVID-19 vaccines.
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 to 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 Guidance for BC 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.