Interior Health invites people aged 30 and older to register for a vaccine at pharmacies

·2 min read
A medical worker prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. Interior Health says people aged 30 and older can now register at a pharmacy to receive their first dose of the vaccine. (Yves Herman/Reuters - image credit)
A medical worker prepares a dose of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine. Interior Health says people aged 30 and older can now register at a pharmacy to receive their first dose of the vaccine. (Yves Herman/Reuters - image credit)

People aged 30 and over are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine from pharmacies in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Kamloops, Kelowna, Lake Country, Penticton and West Kelowna.

A small amount of the AstraZeneca-Oxford COVID-19 vaccine has been released to pharmacies in the Interior Health region, according to the B.C. Pharmacy Association.

In a release, the association said communities already in the pharmacy program are getting a top up of the vaccine, while 19 pharmacies in Cranbrook, Castlegar and Penticton are offering the vaccine for the first time during the pandemic.

No new vaccine is being released to pharmacies in other health regions, according to the release.

"It's great news," said Dr. Albert de Villiers, the chief medical health officer for Interior Health when speaking about the vaccine program expanding in the Kootenay Region.

"The more we can get the vaccine out to smaller communities and more remote communities — it's great."

The three cities were added to the pharmacy program because of higher rates of transmission of COVID-19, de Villiers said.

The Interior Health Authority says more than 250,000 people in the health region have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19.
The Interior Health Authority says more than 250,000 people in the health region have received at least one dose of a vaccine against COVID-19. (Ben Nelms/CBC)

On Thursday the B.C. Centre for Disease Control updated its guidance to increase eligibility of the AstraZeneca vaccine to all individuals 30 years and older.

The pharmacy program is in addition to the health authority's vaccine clinics in more than 60 rural and remote communities in the region which began last month.

The province announced the expansion of B.C.'s age-based immunization plan on Friday saying people aged 50 and older will be receiving an email or text notification in the coming week inviting them to book an appointment.

On Thursday Interior Health said more than 275,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the region since last December with 35 per cent of the population having received at least one dose of a vaccine.