A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open every Thursday in Hope at the Legion for the age-based vaccine rollout. But now anyone aged 40 and older can also book an appointment at a pharmacy for the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic is open every Thursday in Hope at the Legion for the age-based vaccine rollout. But now anyone aged 40 and older can also book an appointment at a pharmacy for the AstraZeneca vaccine. (Jessica Peters/ Hope Standard)

Hope residents 40 and older can now get vaccinated at participating pharmacies

Remedy’s RX pharmacist said the response from the public was immediate following announcement

There were changes to how vaccines are offered up in B.C. this week, including a widening of the age range.

The biggest change was a new vaccination program through participating pharmacies that allows those aged 40 and up to get their first shot.

Nik Gandhi, a pharmacist at Remedy’s RX, said that when Dr. Bonnie Henry announced the change, the phone instantly started ringing.

“It’s only been an hour and and we’ve had phone calls already,” he said. His is one of two pharmacies offering the AstraZeneca vaccine in Hope. The other is the Pharmasave. “We are really happy they gave the go ahead for ages 40 and up.”

He said they have been able to take people in immediately, as they have had vials of vaccine at the ready.

He asks that anyone wanting the vaccine calls in ahead and makes an appointment. The main reason for that is that the vaccine can only be used for a certain period of time after it’s been prepared.

“We are booking appointments so we can organize the timing to make sure we aren’t wasting doses,” he says.

He adds that there is no restrictions on residency for the vaccine, and anyone who is in B.C. can access the program.

To book an appointment at Remedy’s RX, phone 604-869-5654. To book an appointment at Pharmasave, phone 604-869-2486. Pharmasave’s booking site is located at: pharmasave.com/covid-19-vaccines/british-columbia/

There were several communities that the province says have the worst rates of infection, and those are being set up with clinics. Chilliwack and Hope have had relatively low rates of COVID-19 compared to other areas of Fraser Health, by comparison, so neither are included in this list.

And finally, the age-based rollout of vaccines will also continue. In Hope, there is a clinic every Thursday at the Hope Legion, at 344 Fort Street, from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. There are also no walk-ins there, and those wishing to be vaccinated need to sign up online, or by calling 1-833-838-2323.

To date, four vaccines have been approved for use by Health Canada. They are from Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson. More information on each vaccine is available through the B.C. Centre for Disease Control.

READ MORE: B.C. to open up AstraZeneca vaccines for all people 40+, set up clinics in hot spots


@CHWKcommunity
jpeters@theprogress.com

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