8.10 Pharmacist administration of drugs and vaccines

Last updated: January 17, 2023

In this section

General policy description
Administering drugs and vaccines (other than publicly funded vaccines)

   Multi-dose vials
   Multiple daily injections
Administering publicly funded vaccines
   Patient eligibility for publicly funded vaccines
   Eligible B.C. residents
   Patients who meet BCCDC eligibility criteria but who are not B.C. residents
   Patients who do not meet the BCCDC eligibility criteria
Vaccine records
   Records of COVID-19 vaccines administered between December 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022
   Records of COVID-19 vaccines administered April 1, 2022 or later and influenza vaccinations administered October 1, 2022 or later
Procedures for pharmacists
   Submitting a claim for administering drugs and non-publicly funded vaccines
   Submitting a claim for private-supply vaccines that are also available as public supply
   Submitting a claim for administering publicly funded vaccines (except COVID-19 and influenza)
   Submitting a claim for administering COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations
Maximum claims
Tools and resources

General policy description

Pharmacies can claim a fee for administering most injectable drugs and vaccines to patients in a pharmacy.

Administering drugs and vaccines (other than publicly funded vaccines)

As of October 14, 2022, pharmacists can administer injections of all drugs, including Schedule IA drugs, but excluding allergy serums and substances for cosmetic use.

PharmaCare pays pharmacies a fee of $11.41 for administering drugs and non-publicly funded vaccines in a pharmacy by injection (“drug administration”). The fee is claimed when a pharmacist administers a drug or vaccine by injection to a B.C. resident. A prescription from an authorized prescriber is needed for pharmacists to administer Schedule II drugs (e.g., vitamin B12, dimenhydrinate) and claim the fee.

When administering drugs and non-publicly funded vaccines by injection (with the exceptions below), pharmacies must use the PIN for PharmaCare payment and may not bill the patient in addition to, or instead of, claiming the PharmaCare drug administration fee.

The PharmaCare drug administration fee cannot be claimed for administering vaccines for the indication of travel, insulin, and products designed for patient self-injection (e.g., auto-injector or pen cartridge), such as glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists (GLP-1) and low molecular weight heparins (LMWH). 

However, vaccines may have more than one indication. If a vaccine is administered outside of the publicly funded criteria and is for an indication other than travel, the drug administration fee of $11.41 must be claimed rather than charging the patient an administration fee.

For multi-dose vials, the drug administration fee may be claimed for each injection. Because multi-dose vials are dispensed once, only one dispensing fee can be claimed.

Multiple daily injections

To claim multiple injections for one patient on the same day, enter the PharmaNet intervention code UF. The pharmacy can claim the administration fee for each injection; however, PharmaCare payments for iOAT injections are limited to 4 per patient per day.

Administering publicly funded vaccines

Pharmacists can elect to participate in providing publicly funded vaccinations. B.C. residents who meet the eligibility criteria set by the BC Immunization Manual receive publicly funded vaccines at no cost. The cost of the vaccine product is paid for by the provincial and/or federal government. PharmaCare pays pharmacists a fee for administering a dose of publicly funded vaccine when the vaccine is:

  • given to an eligible B.C. resident (including those covered by PharmaCare Plan B (Residential Care), except for COVID-19 vaccines, which can be given to anyone in B.C., and
  • administered by injection (or intranasally in the case of spray flu vaccine), and
  • administered by an authorized pharmacist, or for COVID-19 and influenza vaccines only, administered at a community pharmacy by another authorized practitioner (e.g., pharmacy student, nurse).

The vaccine administration fee is $12.10 for all publicly funded vaccines other than COVID-19 vaccines. For COVID-19 vaccines, the fee is $18.00.

Patient eligibility for publicly funded vaccines

Eligible B.C. residents

B.C. residents who meet the eligibility criteria set by the BC Centre for Disease Control (BCCDC) receive publicly funded vaccines at no cost. 

For information on eligibility criteria, indications, contraindications and dosage for publicly funded vaccines, see the BCCDC Immunization Manual Part 4—Biological Products. This information is also available in patient-friendly language on Immunize BC’s Vaccines by Disease page.

Patients who meet BCCDC eligibility criteria but who are not B.C. residents

PharmaCare does not pay a fee to pharmacies for administering vaccines to patients who are not B.C. residents. 

Pharmacists cannot charge a fee for administering a vaccine to Canadians who meet the BCCDC eligibility criteria.

Please refer all patients who meet the BCCDC eligibility criteria—but who are not B.C. residents—to a local health unit. The health unit will determine if they are eligible for free vaccinations.

Find local health clinics with Immunize BC’s Health Unit Finder.

Patients who do not meet the BCCDC eligibility criteria

Patients who do not meet BCCDC eligibility criteria cannot receive vaccines from the public supply. 

Pharmacists who wish to provide vaccines to ineligible patients must obtain the vaccine from a private supplier and can charge the patient directly for the product. Administration of private supply vaccines (with the exception of travel vaccines) is paid for by PharmaCare and cannot be charged to the patient.

Vaccine records

As required by section 27(3) of the Pharmaceutical Services Act, pharmacists are responsible for entering all relevant information about vaccine administration in PharmaNet. This includes providing identifying information about the pharmacist who administered the vaccine for the purposes of professional practice review and liability.

Publicly funded influenza and COVID-19 vaccinations are entered in ImmsBC only, not in PharmaNet. See below for details.

Records of COVID-19 vaccines administered between December 1, 2021 and March 31, 2022

For records of COVID-19 vaccines administered in community pharmacies between December 1, 2021, and March 31, 2022, when a vaccine record exists in both ImmsBC and in the PharmaNet dispense history, the record in ImmsBC is considered the source of authority for purposes of professional practice review, liability and clinical record.

Non-pharmacists were required to enter the note “IMMSBC” in the PharmaNet SIG field to indicate that the ImmsBC application has the complete record of the vaccination. This also identifies the person who administered the vaccine.

Records of COVID-19 vaccines administered April 1, 2022 or later and influenza vaccinations administered October 1, 2022 or later

Information must only be entered in the ImmsBC application, not the pharmacy software, for:

  • COVID-19 vaccinations administered on or after April 1, 2022, and
  • influenza vaccinations administered on or after October 1, 2022.

These vaccinations will not be visible in a patient’s PharmaNet dispense history. Pharmacists, physicians and other healthcare professionals can view a patient’s record of COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations in ImmsBC or CareConnect.

Information entered in ImmsBC for COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations is automatically transferred to PharmaNet and so must comply with the same standards as all PharmaNet entries. This information in PharmaNet is used to pay pharmacies the vaccination administration fee and is not accessible for clinical purposes.

Pharmacists are reminded that, when a vaccination is entered in ImmsBC, a drug use evaluation (DUE) will not automatically occur.

Information about publicly funded vaccinations must be entered in the appropriate system: ImmsBC for COVID-19 and public-supply influenza vaccines, and PharmaNet for private-supply influenza vaccines and all other vaccines administered in the pharmacy.

Procedures for pharmacists

Submitting a claim for administering drugs and non-publicly funded vaccines

Submit the claim for the drug or non-publicly funded vaccine separately from the administration fee, using the appropriate DIN (or PIN for flu vaccines that are the same as a public product – see ‘Submitting a claim when a private product is also available as public supply’ below).Enter PIN 66128366 in PharmaNet for the administration fee

  • In the SIG field, enter the DIN, generic drug name, route and administration site (RIGHT or LEFT or BILATERAL), e.g., 0273497_Vitamin B12_IM_LEFT
  • In the Quantity field, enter 1
  • Enter your College of Pharmacists of BC ID in the prescriber ID field
  • Do not enter a drug cost or fee
  • Submit the claim on the same day that the vaccine or drug is administered.

Submitting a claim for private-supply vaccines that are also available as public supply

During some influenza vaccine seasons, publicly funded products are also available as private supply. When a flu product is uniquely a private supply product, enter the DIN in PharmaNet. For products that have both a private and public supply, enter the private supply using the PIN in PharmaNet, with the pharmacist CPBC ID in the Prescriber ID field. Do not record these private supply vaccinations in ImmsBC.

These private-supply vaccinations are eligible for an administration fee of $11.41.

Submitting a claim for administering publicly funded vaccines (except COVID-19 and influenza)

Enter a publicly funded vaccination (other than influenza or COVID-19) by recording the PIN in PharmaNet on the day it is administered. For COVID-19 and influenza vaccinations, see below ‘Submitting a claim for publicly funded COVID-19 or influenza vaccinations’.

Pharmacists should follow these steps:

  • Confirm that the patient is eligible to receive a publicly funded vaccination
  • Obtain informed consent (PDF, 329KB)
  • Provide the patient with a record of immunization with details of the vaccination

When recording the vaccination in PharmaNet, in the Directions for Use field (the SIG field), enter the lot number and vaccination site (either RIGHT or LEFT) separated by an underscore _. If entering a claim for the FluMist nasal spray, enter lot number and BILATERAL, separated by an underscore.
This ensures a complete record in the Provincial Immunization Registry (PIR). A record of the vaccine lot number is required in case of a rare event such as a vaccine recall or an adverse event following immunization (AEFI).

Do not enter personally identifiable information in the SIG field, as the entire contents of the SIG field will be included in the PIR.

Submitting a claim for administering COVID-19 and influenza vaccines

  • For COVID-19 vaccinations administered on or after April 1, 2022, and influenza vaccinations administered on or after October 1, 2022, only enter information in ImmsBC (not PharmaNet).
  • Information entered in ImmsBC is automatically transferred to PharmaNet for fee payment to pharmacies, and will also be transferred to the PIR to complete the patient's immunization history (for clinical purposes).

While the risk of adverse side effects is low, pharmacists are reminded to check a patient’s allergies and drug history prior to administering a vaccine. If a patient has a reaction to the vaccine, record this in ImmsBC.

For claims that are not entered in PharmaNet through the local pharmacy system (i.e., COVID-19 and flu), pharmacies will not be able to reconcile monthly vaccine payments using their local system; they will need to use the reporting function available in ImmsBC. Pharmacies can request a Pharmacy Remittance Advice Form from Health Insurance BC, which shows vaccine administrations and fees entered in ImmsBC. If pharmacies want a breakdown to the individual record level, they will need to request the Service Claim Adjudication Outcome report from the HIBC PharmaCare Helpdesk.

Maximum claims

The maximum amount PharmaCare will pay a pharmacy for any combination of medication administrations, medication reviews and clinical services (such as prescription adaptations) is $78.00 per patient, per day.

There is no daily limit on the number of drug administrations (i.e., injections and intranasal vaccines) to claim the drug administration fee, except for the administration of injectable opioid antagonist treatment (iOAT), which is limited to 4 injections per DIN, per patient, per day.

Example: A pharmacy will be paid for the administration of iOAT up to 4 injections per day, plus other drugs or vaccines or services, to the maximum of $78.00 per patient per day.

There is no daily limit on the number of drug administrations (injections, intranasal vaccine) to palliative care patients to claim the drug administration fee.

Tools and resources