AstraZeneca shortage ends as small shipments arrive at Victoria pharmacies

AstraZeneca shortage ends as small shipments arrive at Victoria pharmacies

It appears a dry spell of AstraZeneca vaccine supply has come to an end on Vancouver Island.

Nearly three weeks after pharmacies across Vancouver Island ran out of the AstraZeneca vaccine, more doses have arrived at a pair of Victoria pharmacies.

JC Pharmacy, located on the border of Saanich and Victoria, was among the pharmacies that received an unexpected shipment of the vaccine on Friday, forcing them to act quickly.

“Friday early morning, we got a call saying we are going to ship some doses for you and we got the doses and we started vaccinating people from Friday,” said JC Pharmacy manager, Chandra Erant.

It was last minute but unquestionably welcomed. Just a few weeks ago, B.C.’s Minister of Health, Adrian Dix said the province was dealing with an AstraZeneca shortage and wasn’t sure when Vancouver Island would receive any more.

RELATED: ‘That will be it for this moment,’ Dix says of AstraZeneca shortage on Vancouver Island

Fast forward to Saturday afternoon, and dozens of people were seen lined up around the block eagerly awaiting a shot. By Sunday at 11 a.m., JC Pharmacy had run out and doesn’t know when more will arrive.

“Basically we just wait for a phone call or a fax saying hey you’re getting some, be prepared, it makes things challenging but we’re ready to accept the challenge,” Chandra said.

Fort Royal Pharmacy also received a shipment this weekend, with their Hillside and Oak Bay locations each receiving 200 doses of the vaccine on Saturday. Fort Royal has already begun booking appointments.

The Ministry of Health did confirm that more doses will be coming to the Island this week, but couldn’t provide details on how many.

CHEK News also spoke with several other pharmacies including the Langford Walmart, Heart Pharmacies Fairfield location, and multiple London Drugs, all of whom say they’re expecting shipments this week. However, the pharmacies say their waitlists are now in the thousands.

Ben NesbitBen Nesbit

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