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Vaccines arrive as B.C. launches COVID, flu immunization campaign

Drugstore chain anticipating an increase in demand for vaccines

British Columbia has launched its immunization campaign for this year’s respiratory illness season, with influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations now available in pharmacies across the province.

The immunization plan was announced late last month as B.C. Provincial Health Officer Bonnie Henry reintroduced mask mandates in the province’s health-care settings with respiratory illnesses trending upward.

In a written statement, drugstore chain Pharmasave says they are anticipating an increase in demand for vaccines administered by pharmacies this year, as patients have increasingly turned to pharmacists for treating common ailments since the province authorized it in June.

The BC Centre for Disease Control says COVID-19 hospitalizations have risen by 58 per cent for the two weeks starting Sept. 21, with 24 deaths in the last week of September.

In the second week of August, B.C. reported nine COVID-19 deaths.

The centre says new infections are also on the rise, from 133 cases during the second week of August to 877 cases in the last week of September — with a notable increase in patients age 60 and older.

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