COVID-19: Ordered Vaccine Mandate for All Registered Pharmacists and Pharmacy Technicians in BC

All registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be fully vaccinated, have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or have an exemption to continue working.

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Emily McIntosh runs a rural pharmacy in Castlegar and has been frustrated by the lack of uniform rules for BC pharmacists and technicians to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to serve customers.


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A major chain, London Drugs, made it clear in late August that by November 1 all of its employees, including pharmacists and pharmacy technicians, would need to be fully vaccinated.

But nothing existed at many small, independent pharmacies, or other large chains like the Loblaw Companies, which owns Shoppers Drug Mart.

“We have a lot of older people coming in. We have these plastic barriers and things like that. But sometimes you have to go out and help them find a product, so there goes the barrier, “McIntosh said.

“And sometimes if someone asks a question and they can’t hear, and you have to lean in, it’s impossible to create physical detachment.”

On Monday, the College of Pharmacists provided the clarity McIntosh sought, saying that all registered pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must be fully vaccinated, have received at least one dose of an approved COVID-19 vaccine, or have a waiver to continue. labor.


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The university said its statement was based on an order by Dr. Bonnie Henry, Provincial Health Officer, late last week.

The requirements also apply to pharmacy technician and pharmacy students who are in places of care for training or research purposes.

Those who only received one dose of the vaccine before October 26 can continue working, but should follow preventive measures and receive their second dose within 28 to 35 days after the first.

Those who are not eligible to work because they have not received a first dose before October 26, but who receive one before November 15, must wait seven days before returning to work, follow preventive measures, and receive their second dose within from 28 to 35 years old. days after the first.

The university said pharmacy managers and owners should request and collect proof of vaccination, or an exemption, from pharmacists and technicians and keep a record of the information, so it can be released to the Provincial Health Officer upon request.


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At London Drugs, pharmacy general manager Chris Chiew said across the chain’s 80 stores: “Maybe we have a handful of people who have actually shown or expressed some resistance to (their policy implementation).

“But we’ve been able to talk to them and we’ve had (two months) to try to help them solve their problems and make sure we answer the questions and find alternatives to them, if necessary.

“We are dealing with many people who come to our stores every day and who are sometimes in close contact for long periods of time. We are dealing with people who would be at high risk, whether they are immunosuppressed, or they may be going on cancer therapy or receiving drugs associated with chemotherapy, or maybe they are just coming from surgery. That’s why we put this in its place. “

McIntosh believes a mandate could cost him a pharmacist, a technician and possibly another assistant. “We would be short and it would still be fine with that. It would take some slack. “

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