Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist, an independent pharmacy in Toronto, Monday, April 19, 2021. Younger Canadians in several provinces are now able to get the AstraZeneca vaccine. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

AstraZeneca vaccine appointments fill up fast on Vancouver Island

More pharmacies expected to be added as supply increases

All people aged 40 and up can now book appointments to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine for COVID-19 at pharmacies across B.C., but it may take some extra work, or at least patience, for those on Vancouver Island.

As of Thursday morning, the B.C. government lists 37 sites on the Island offering AstraZeneca, but bookings for many have filled up fast, and nearly all of those sites are in the Nanaimo, Parksville and Greater Victoria areas.

The provincial Ministry of Health is offering two ways to get AstraZeneca. Under one system, the vaccine will be delivered to people ages 40 and up in high-transmission neighbourhoods, based on postal code. All of those neighbourhoods are located within the Fraser, Vancouver Coastal and Northern Health authorities.

Islanders, meanwhile, can get the vaccine by booking an appointment at one of the hundreds of participating pharmacies across the province. There are about 600 offering it, but those numbers are likely to increase.

“As supply increases, there will be an opportunity for more pharmacies to come online,” said Leah Holoiday, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Health.

Participating pharmacies are listed on the Ministry’s website (https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/vaccine/pharmacy). The London Drugs in Campbell River was added to the list on Tuesday afternoon, but is not represented on the map.

The London Drugs in Duncan is offering the AstraZeneca vaccine, but as of Tuesday, April 20, all appointments appear to be booked. Holoiday did not offer an explanation as to why the Duncan London Drugs was not on the Ministry’s list. More information about booking appointments at London Drugs locations can be found at londondrugs.com/covid19

The Comox Valley has no pharmacies on the AstraZeneca list either, but Powell River, just 35 kilometres away as the crow flies but 90 minutes by ferry across the Salish Sea, has five such locations. At least one Comox Valley resident was offered an appointment in Powell River, but declined. Powell River is part of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority.

“The B.C. government is currently underway with the largest immunization effort in the province’s history,” Aileen Machell, communications director for B.C. Government Health Communications said. “And to address high-transmission areas, the province has directed vaccine supply t0 be primarily allocated to high-risk areas, particularly in the Lower Mainland.”

According to Machell, 1,150 doses were administered in the 24 hours leading up to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, April 21.

READ MORE: B.C. sees 862 more COVID-19 cases Wednesday, seven deaths

READ MORE: ‘Very scary’: B.C. travel rules too vague, shouldn’t involve police, civil liberties group says

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The organizers of the annual 39 days of July festival hope to return to live shows in Charles Hoey Park this year, like in this photo taken in 2019, but audiences at the show may be limited to 50 people due to health protocols. (File photo)
39 Days of July hoping for outdoor events in Duncan this summer

Annual music festival will run from June 25 to Aug. 2 this year

Cowichan Valley WildSafeBC coordinator Amanda Crowston teaches a Grade 5/6 class at Ecole Cobble Hill last fall. (Submitted)
The bears are back in town and so is WildSafeBC

The bears are back in town so keep an eye out, reminds… Continue reading

Oak Bay resident Hugh Thompson died Friday, May 7. (GoFundMe photo)
Oak Bay dad dies mountain biking near Shawnigan Lake

Community rallies around family with online fundraiser

The Regional District of Nanaimo has its sights set on busing to the Cowichan Valley in time for March 2022. (News Bulletin file)
Bus link between Nanaimo and the Cowichan Valley expected by next March

Unallocated transit hours already in Regional District of Nanaimo budget

A bullet hole is seen in the windshield of an RCMP vehicle approximately 4 km from Vancouver International Airport after a one person was killed during a shooting outside the international departures terminal at the airport, in Richmond, B.C., Sunday, May 9, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Homicide team IDs man in fatal YVR shooting as police grapple with spate of gang violence

Man, 20, charged in separate fatal shooting Burnaby over the weekend

Two-year-old Kashius Weme rides at the Steve Smith Memorial Bike Park in Nanaimo on Tuesday, May 11. The youngster’s precocious bike-riding ability is already attracting cycle sponsors. (Chris Bush/News Bulletin)
2-year-old bike rider on Vancouver Island already attracting cycle sponsors

Nanaimo’s Kashius Weme has a knack for extreme cycle sports

Keith MacIntyre - BC Libertarian
Penticton’s Keith MacIntyre new leader of the B.C. Libertarian Party

The Penticton businessman was voted in by members of the party on May 8

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

RCMP are searching for Philip Toner, who is a 'person of interest' in the investigation of a suspicious death in Kootenay National Park last week. Photo courtesy BC RCMP.
Man sought in suspicious Kootenay death found in Lake Country

Philip Toner is a person of interest in the death of Brenda Ware

Vernon North Okanagan RCMP reported to 287 mental health calls between Jan. 1, 2021, and May 1. (Black Press files)
‘It’s not the police’s responsibility to deal with mental health calls’: Vernon RCMP

RCMP remind public to take care of mental health and well-being, while better solutions are sought

Thompson Rivers University campus is in Kamloops, B.C. (KTW file photo)
Thompson Rivers the 1st B.C. university to supply free menstrual products

The university will offer the products this September

Fraser Health is using ‘targeted’ vaccination clinics in high-risk areas of the Lower Mainland. (Fraser Health photo)
B.C.’s COVID-19 decrease continues, 515 new cases Tuesday

426 seriously ill people in hospital, up from 415 Monday

A scene from the Schoolhouse Squat from October 2018, where Alliance Against Displacement members and supporters occupied the Rutherford Elementary School site, advocating for people experiencing homelessness. (News Bulletin file)
‘Schoolhouse Squat’ activists get conditional discharge in Nanaimo school occupation

Ivan Donald Drury, Tingchun (Listen) Chen sentenced in provincial court in Nanaimo

Most Read