Island pharmacies get more AstraZeneca vaccine, begin appointments for residents 30+
VICTORIA -- Sarah Gaudet got a surprise jab in the arm Monday at the Fort Royal Pharmacy in Oak Bay.
The 36-year-old didn’t think she’d get a chance to have an AstraZeneca vaccine after pharmacies on Vancouver Island had run dry of the vaccine a few weeks ago. But multiple pharmacies in Greater Victoria got sudden supplies of it in the past few days.
“I was in a store when I got the call and hung up on my fiance, and did a happy dance in the aisle,” said Guadet on Monday, recalling the call she got from the pharmacy with the news.
The pharmacy found out Friday it was getting a sudden batch of the vaccine, which it received Saturday. There has been a steady stream of people getting the shot since, after booking appointments online through the pharmacy.
“It’s our third day, so it really depends on how many people we see, but I expect it will take a week to get through it all,” said co-owner Hans Bawa.
Across the street at the Oak Bay Pharmasave, the store received a batch of AstraZeneca vaccine on Monday. It plans to administer it to folks later in the week, likely beginning Thursday.
The surge in AstraZeneca vaccine doses comes as Canada is set to receive two-million doses of the Pfizer vaccine this week, and as case counts on Vancouver Island continue to dip.
Current restrictions are set to expire in two weeks. Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry wouldn’t say if the restrictions would be extended Monday, but did say reopening indoor dining was a priority.
“We know how important that is for restaurants, but it’s also an important, safe place when rates are low in our community,” said Henry.