200,000 doses administered mark in sight for province’s vaccine plan

Dr. Robert Strang. (Communications N.S. Photo)

FALL RIVER/EAST HANTS: The plan to give every Nova Scotian who is able to receive a vaccine a first dose by the end of June is on track, after reaching 200,000 doses in arms this week.

“This is a great milestone. As of today, 200,000 doses of vaccine have gone in arms. Our plan is working and it is on track,” said Premier Iain Rankin.

“By May, we will be able to immunize more than 85,000 people each week if we have the vaccine supply, and by June all adult Nova Scotians who want a vaccine will have one. Thanks to everyone involved in this effort.”

The province announced its immunization plan on Jan. 4, with a three-phased approach that would see Nova Scotians receive two doses of vaccine 21 to 28 days apart.

Premier Iain Rankin at the April 16 briefing. (Communications N.S. Photo)

Since then, new guidance extending the second dose to 105 days and increased vaccine supply has allowed the province to adapt its plan so more people receive their vaccine sooner.

“The success of our COVID-19 vaccine plan is in its focused and flexible approach to vaccine delivery and building sustainable, reliable processes,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “We are on schedule, based on expected federal deliveries, and have developed a flexible plan to vaccinate Nova Scotians equitably across the province.

“I want to thank everyone for their patience and encourage them to get vaccinated when it’s their turn.”

Early in our rollout we identified groups to be vaccinated first based on the need to maintain the health system and address risk factors such as age and large congregate living settings. These groups have either been vaccinated or are being scheduled to be vaccinated.

Moving forward the province will focus on vaccinating the rest of the population based on age. Currently all Nova Scotians aged 65 and older can book an appointment to get the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine. Those between 55 and 64 can also receive the AstraZeneca vaccine.

By the end of April, the province will have:
— provided at least a first dose of vaccine to every health-care worker who works directly with patients in hospital or in their home
— vaccinated or have scheduled appointments for anyone who is a community provider as identified in the plan
— fully vaccinated all residents and staff in licenced long-term care facilities
— delivered vaccine to all unlicensed, private seniors’ facilities to provide first doses to their residents
— fully vaccinated people 55 and older who live in the 13 Mi’kmaw communities across the province; planning is underway to vaccinate those under age 55 and those who live outside the community
— held two African Nova Scotian community clinics for community members age 55 and older; planning is underway for additional clinics
— administered first doses at all nine shelter clinics in Halifax Regional Municipality; planning is underway for shelter and transition houses in other areas of Nova Scotia.

Enhancements to the online booking site have also been made. These include an address look-up tool that shows the closest clinics to you based on your age and clinics now show which have appointments or are fully booked.

Quick Facts:
As of the end of day Thursday, April 15:
— 19.6 per cent of Nova Scotians have had one or more doses of COVID-19 vaccine
— 15.9 per cent of Nova Scotians have had at one dose
— 3.7 per cent Nova Scotians have had both doses of COVID-19 vaccine

Additional Resources:
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Vaccine: https://www.novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Book your vaccination appointment: https://www.novascotia.ca/vaccination

Rural Transportation Association: https://ruralrides.ca/