Victoria pharmacies busy administering AstraZeneca vaccine

Victoria pharmacies busy administering AstraZeneca vaccine
WatchPharmacies across B.C. can administer the AstraZeneca Vaccine to people aged 55 to 65, and although some are worried, many are lining up.

The Fort Royal Pharmacy in Victoria has been busy this past weekend, doling out doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

“We received 400 doses and so far we’ve given about 350,” said the pharmacy’s manager Lina Zambrano.

Pharmacies across B.C. were given the green light on Friday to start administering doses of the AstraZeneca Vaccine to people aged 55 to 65

Carolyn Thons and Cindy Peltier were among those on Monday who rolled up their sleeves and got their first dose of vaccine.

“Moving forward, relief to have the protection and the second vaccine will follow,” said Thons.

“I feel great, I think it’s part of the big picture, I think everyone needs to do this and continue to say safe,” said Peltier.

While many who are getting the AstraZeneca vaccine are excited about it, they weren’t originally first in line for it.

Those doses was first supposed to be held for essential service workers, but due to blood clot concerns for younger people, the province put the program on hold.

READ MORE: B.C. appeals for ‘final push’ against COVID-19 in throne speech

A recent survey out of the Angus Reid Institue shows that many Canadians are worried, with 54 per cent of people surveyed saying they don’t feel comfortable with the AstraZeneca vaccine, and nearly a quarter of Canadians say, they would flat out reject it if it was offered.

A handful of countries including Australia have suspended administering the vaccine in people under a certain age, usually 50 or 60.

But out of the 20 million doses given last month in the U.K., there have been only 79 reports of blood clots, and for those getting it today, that math adds up.

“I wasn’t concerned because the number of incidents compared to the number of doses administered, it’s not even equivalent to a rounding error,” said Kelly, a man who received his AstraZeneca shot on Monday.

Peltier says she would take any vaccine available.

“[Blood Clots] were not a concern at all. I’m so glad we had the chance to get it sooner than later,” said the Victoria woman.

The Fort Royal Pharmacy says the response they’ve gotten shows the local interest.

“The phone just keeps ringing, lots of people want to book appointments so we’re doing our best to give as many as we can,” said Zambrano.

They’ve extended their hours and designated pharmacists to dole out immunizations so that other duties wouldn’t be slowed down.

“It’s all about helping our community whatever we have to do, we’ll do just to get as many people vaccinated,” said the manager.

Though nearly out of their first shipment, they say they’ll be getting more soon. If you are in the age bracket of 55 to 65 and would like a vaccine, you can contact the pharmacy to book an appointment.

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Rebecca LawrenceRebecca Lawrence

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