COVID-19: London Drugs All Booked For Vaccine Appointments

COVID-19: London Drugs All Booked For Vaccine Appointments

Starting today, people aged 55 to 65 living in the Lower Mainland can reserve a vaccine, but people can expect delays and waiting lists to reserve a vaccine.

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Starting today, people aged 55 to 65 living in the Lower Mainland can book an AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD vaccine, but so far the rollout has not gone smoothly.

Frustrated people in the area have been faced with busy phone signals at drugstores, blocked online reservations, waiting lists and at least one drugstore chain saying everything is full.

On Tuesday evening, a day before bookings for this category opened, London Drugs announced on Twitter that due to an ‘overwhelming response’ all vaccine appointments had been booked at all three London pharmacies. Drugs selected by the Government of British Columbia to offer the vaccine.

The company asked people not to call pharmacies so they could prepare for “full” appointments.

Those who felt confused or discouraged by the process took to social media to complain about the reservation system. Some were unhappy with London Drugs booking on Tuesday before Wednesday started, while others were desperate they couldn’t get a reservation because the pharmacy was already running out of AstraZeneca.

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There are dozens of pharmacies in the area offering the jab. The BC Pharmacy Association website has a list of pharmacies offering the vaccine, which will be updated regularly over the coming weeks.

However, callers from several pharmacies on the list were greeted with a busy signal Wednesday morning, indicating that there could be significant demand for the vaccine.

The 2019 demographics for people aged 55 to 65 in the Lower Mainland show that there are 275,457 people in that age group in the Fraser Health Authority and 176,431 in the Vancouver Coastal.

Those who tried to get an appointment on the North Shore experienced difficulties. For example, Davies Prescription Pharmacy, which is one of two North Shore pharmacies on the vaccination list, said it was running out of a very limited supply of AstraZeneca vaccine on Wednesday morning, while the other was on the list. is a London Drugs, which is reserved. No pharmacy is listed for West Vancouver.

Abbotsford’s Costco Pharmacy said it has yet to receive AstraZeneca and has asked people to add their name to a wait list on Rexall pharmacies also have a waiting list.

The Ministry of Health has been contacted to remedy the situation.

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The London Drugs announcement prompted many to voice their frustration on social media over how people could book on Tuesday when the government told them reservations opened on Wednesday.

The company has been contacted for a response but has yet to resend any messages.

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The province has decided to increase its age-based vaccination plan for AstraZeneca injections after concerns over rare blood clots prompted the National Advisory Committee on Immunization to suspend use of the vaccine for any time. person under 55 years of age.

Provincial health worker Dr Bonnie Henry said in a press release that the vaccine remains highly effective and its benefits for those over 55 far outweigh the risks of COVID-19 infection. .

More than 99,000 residents of British Columbia have been diagnosed with COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic and infections have increased across the province in recent weeks, with 840 new cases reported on Tuesday.

“As soon as the news broke, all of our stores in the Lower Mainland in British Columbia were inundated with customers wanting to make appointments,” London Drugs said on Twitter.

London Drugs said its three designated vaccination sites in Metro Vancouver had received limited AstraZeneca vaccine allocations.

“As soon as more stock becomes available, we will open our online reservation the same way we would with routine flu vaccinations. We are ready to vaccinate as many people as possible and expect more information on the increase in allocations to be provided in the coming days. ”

Those who are going to be vaccinated will need to bring their personal health number, located on your CareCard or driver’s license.

The AstraZeneca / COVISHIELD vaccine is currently not available at pharmacies in northern, interior and Vancouver Island health authorities at this time.

-with files from The Canadian Press and Nathan Griffiths

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