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Richmond vaccine appointments fly off the shelf

Health Minister Adrian Dix said about 188,000 more Astra Zeneca vaccines have just arrived in B.C.
(via Pixabay)

It seems Astra Zeneca vaccine appointments for those aged 55 to 65 in Richmond went fast and furious but there might be more on the way.

Two pharmacies that the Richmond News reached out to, Superstore on No. 3 Road and Shoppers on Blundell Road, quickly filled up their appointments for the limited number of vaccines provided to their pharmacies.

Across the province, there were 18,000 doses distributed to pharmacies after a pause was put on the worker program on Monday with concerns raised about giving it to those under 55.

“We wanted to make sure all of our doses went out, and they have,” said Health Minister Adrian Dix at Thursday’s COVID-19 update.

Further supply of 188,000 just arrived in B.C. and more is expected next week, he added.

Over the next few days, there will be a plan to roll out those vaccines, with Dix saying they will work with the BC Pharmacy Association on distribution.

The batch of Astra Zeneca distributed to pharmacies this week was expiring on Saturday (April 2).

The age 55 to 65 was targeted because it wasn’t a group that was part of the age cohorts who could sign up for vaccines at clinic, explained Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, on Thursday afternoon.

The Astra Zeneca vaccines have had some rare cases of blood clots associated with it.

Henry said this was a “very low number around the world,” but it seems to have affected young people more than older people, which is why it isn’t being administered to those under 55.

Only three pharmacies in Richmond were listed on the provincial government’s website as having Astra Zeneca vaccines available to this age group.

The third pharmacy that was offering it in Richmond was Shoppers Drug Mart at Richmond Centre.