London Drugs is one of the pharmacy chains participating in the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout for people 55 to 65 years old in the Lower Mainland. (Black Press Media files)

London Drugs is one of the pharmacy chains participating in the AstraZeneca vaccine rollout for people 55 to 65 years old in the Lower Mainland. (Black Press Media files)

London Drugs denies claims ‘insiders’ got AstraZeneca first; says it had no advance warning

London Drugs had three pharmacies involved in the rollout out of the total 150 that received vaccines

One of the pharmacy chains involved in the rollout of AstraZeneca vaccine in the Lower Mainland on Thursday (March 31) said that many of its pharmacists heard about the program from a government news release, and not from its management.

In a blog post, London Drugs said that a briefing call with the BC Pharmacy Association was just concluding when the health ministry sent out the news release alerting the public of the new program, which diverted AstraZeneca vaccine from the frontline worker program to people from 55 to 65 years old in the Lower Mainland.

“Given the timing of release of the government announcement, and the BCPhA briefing was just concluding, there was no way to communicate clearly to all London Drugs pharmacies and customers of the planned roll out,” the company stated.

“Many of our staff and pharmacies learned first from the government announcement before hearing from London Drugs pharmacy management.”

London Drugs had three pharmacies involved in the rollout out of the total 150 that received vaccines. The doses across all three locations totalled about 500 out of the 13,500 B.C. officials said were made available to pharmacies Wednesday.

The company shot back against allegations made online about its vaccinations, calling them “false” and a “libellous and slanderous allegation” against their reputation.

“We are very alarmed and disappointed at allegations made in social media that London Drugs allocations were provided to employees and other insiders. This is absolutely false,” the company said.

“We respected the government’s requests to communicate in a certain order, and that order prevented any inside information for employees ahead of the public what was already calling in the thousands to acquire the limited vaccinations allocated to us.”

The company said it hopes to have an online booking system ready to go in the coming days. B.C. officials said 43,000 more doses of AstraZeneca are due to arrive in the province Friday.

READ MORE: Lower Mainland pharmacists face ‘overwhelming’ demand for AstraZeneca shots


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

Coronavirusvaccines

Just Posted

West Kootenay Regional Airport. Photo: Betsy Kline
Central Mountain Air leaving Castlegar airport in July

The airline says market can’t handle two airlines

“This is very costly to replace and it seems that Rossland is getting more and more theft and vandalism happening, which is really unfortunate,” says the commission’s Michelle Fairbanks. Photo: Submitted
Two plaques stolen from Rossland heritage square

The plaques were located at Washington and Columbia by the Olaus statue

Protestors blocking Columbia Avenue Saturday evening. Photo: Betsy Kline
UPDATE: Old growth protesters block Castlegar’s main street for 24 hours

Members of Extinction Rebellion stayed overnight in downtown Castlegar

Forty sled dogs were seized by the BC SPCA from a Salmo kennel in February. A recent ruling has decided the dogs won’t be returned. Photo: Gounsil/Flickr
BC Farm Industry Review Board rules against Salmo kennel after 40 sled dogs seized

Spirit of the North Kennels was also ordered to pay BC SPCA $64,000

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Citizenship Minister Marco Mendicino holds a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2020. The federal government is announcing that Indigenous people can now apply to reclaim their names on passports and other government documents. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous people can now reclaim traditional names on their passports and other ID

Announcement applies to all individuals of First Nations, Inuit and Métis background

Harvesting hay in the Fraser Valley. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
COVID-19: B.C. waives farm income requirement for a second year

Property owners don’t need minimum income for 2022 taxes

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

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

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Most Read