President's Message: Vaccines are pharmacy’s opportunity to help end pandemic

Updated on January 30, 2022 (Originally posted on January 25, 2022) The Tablet

To say everyone is tired would be an understatement. The last two years have challenged us in ways previously unimaginable, but despite these challenges, pharmacists have continued to go above and beyond, and we have dedicated ourselves to keeping our communities safe.

On top of the COVID-19 pandemic, 2021 had decided to give us an extreme heat wave, floods, and a continuance of the ever-present opioid pandemic. But still, we push on and continue to deliver our services, putting our patients first, even when it has become increasingly difficult to do so. 

With all of this in mind, I believe it’s even more important for us to recognize a few of the pharmacists in B.C. who have been doing some truly amazing things. Amongst our awards recipients for 2021, we had some extremely deserving individuals who really do help shine a light on what our profession is capable of, when given the opportunity. These individuals have my congratulations, and I hope you have a chance to read about each of their accomplishments.

Over the last year, community pharmacies were slowly given the chance to administer COVID-19 vaccines. Starting with the short lived (but hectic) AstraZeneca campaign, and continuing more recently with pharmacies eventually being allowed to deliver the Moderna and Pfizer mRNA vaccines.

I know I may not speak for every single pharmacist in B.C. when I say I’m extremely thankful that we are now able to help administer these vaccines, but I truly believe that as health-care professionals in this province, we have an obligation to help end, or at the least ease, this pandemic when presented with the opportunity, and we now have the opportunity.

We all know it’s going to add to our already busy workloads, and not everyone is going to appreciate the additional work we put in on a daily-basis. All we can do is continue to roll with the punches and know that what we’re doing is making a difference.

Finally, I’d like to use this opportunity to really acknowledge the amount of hard work the staff of the BCPhA has been doing since the start of this pandemic. They have been working days, nights, weekends, almost non-stop, to make sure pharmacists and pharmacies continue to receive the utmost support, in addition to the incredible advocacy they have delivered on our behalf. They have been working tirelessly, continue to work tirelessly, and on behalf of the entire board I would like to really express the gratitude we have for their endless efforts.

I’m very excited at the prospects of the coming year, and I look forward to working with everyone on the new opportunities that will come for pharmacy in B.C. I can’t wait to see what we as a profession can accomplish.

Jamie Wigston
BC Pharmacy Association

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