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Kimberley compounding pharmacy steps up to alleviate shortages

Flu shots, boosters + children’s pain meds are all hard to get. Here are some creative solutions
The staff at Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley. Owner and lead pharmacist Michelle Gray was recently named PCCA Canadian Compounding Pharmacist of the Year.

Cold and flu season is upon us, and British Columbians are keen to arm themselves.

“We’ve had a robust supply of both flu vaccines and COVID-19 booster vaccines in the past, but I think demand has been higher than the BC Government expected this year,” says Michelle Gray, pharmacist and owner of Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy in Kimberley.

The BC Pharmacy Association has been integral in quarterbacking the distribution of vaccines since the beginning of the pandemic, and right now they’re working to redistribute excess vaccine to areas of the province where demand is high. But vaccine supply is only part of the challenge — staffing shortages are also making it harder for Kootenay residents to find appointments for flu shots and COVID-19 boosters.

“Both patients and pharmacists exclusively use the provincial government’s appointment booking system. Pharmacists are able to set our own appointments: how many, how long they last, and how many people can attend each appointment,” Michelle says.

How to get a flu shot or COVID booster in the Kootenays

  • When it’s your turn to book an appointment, follow the link in your text or email notification. Visit or call 1-833-838-2323 if you need help.
  • Book your COVID-19 booster and flu vaccine at the same appointment to save time for both you and the pharmacy.
  • Follow Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy on Facebook at “When I have access to a nurse or extra staff and vaccine, I will make additional appointments available on short notice. I post about these appointments on Facebook and patients can book their appointment through,” Michelle says. “During those ‘extra times’ we will also accept walk-ins.”

With a private room, experienced staff and even a puppy to console anxious patients, Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy is a great place to get your vaccine.

“We have people who’ve been coming to me for their vaccinations for the last 10 years, even though they may get their prescriptions somewhere else. They come to us because they know it will be a good experience. I like to boast that we are the ‘Best poke in the Kootenays.’”

Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy can compound customized children’s pain medication during the current shortage of children’s Tylenol and Advil. Call the pharmacy at 250-427-0038 for more details.
Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy can compound customized children’s pain medication during the current shortage of children’s Tylenol and Advil. Call the pharmacy at 250-427-0038 for more details.

Solving the children’s pain medication shortage with compounding

There is a shortage of children’s Tylenol and Advil in Canada, but no shortage of the ingredients needed to make it. So if your child needs pain medication, Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy can make it for you.

“Because it’s a commercially available product we’re not usually allowed to make it, but due to the shortage the federal government has given permission to compounding pharmacists to create custom medications for children in need,” Michelle says.

  • Compounded acetaminophen and ibuprofen is personalized to each patient’s need and weight. Do not share your child’s medication with siblings.
  • Compounded medications have a shorter shelf life than commercially available medications. The refrigerated ‘beyond use date’ for some children’s compounded pain medication is 35 days, though some suppository and chewable forms can last up to six months. Ask your pharmacist for details.
  • Call or email Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy with your child’s weight, child’s care card number and your contact information to order. As with regular Tylenol or Advil, no prescription is required.

“We’ve found a few formulations that are palatable, and carry a variety of flavour drops that can be added. With a dedicated pharmacy lab technician working full time, we can fill orders fairly quickly. We’re happy to help in any way we can.”

Visit Kimberley’s award-winning Gray’s Compounding Pharmacy at 417B 304th St. on Highway 95 in Kimberley, open Monday to Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m. You can also get in touch by calling 250-427-0038, emailing, or at