EAST HANTS/FALL RIVER: Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan is ahead of schedule. People 20 and older became eligible to book a vaccine today, May 25, and those 12 and older will become eligible to book an appointment by the end of May.
“We made a promise to Nova Scotians that by the end of June, every person who wants to receive a COVID-19 vaccine would have their first dose,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “In just a matter of days, anyone in Nova Scotia who is eligible to receive a vaccine will be able to book their first dose appointment.”
As of the end of day May 24, about 48.2 per cent of Nova Scotians have had one or more doses of the vaccine.
The province also has a plan to speed up the delivery of second doses by two to four weeks.
Starting in early June, those who are due for their second dose soonest will be able to move their appointment up. Notices will continue over the following weeks, reflecting the same order as first dose appointments. This will continue until all second doses are rescheduled.
For example, someone who received the first dose of vaccine on March 22 would be due for the second dose 105 days later, on July 5. That person will be able to reschedule the second appointment for as early as the week of June 20.
Notices will be sent by email to the account provided at the time of booking. Those who did not provide an email are encouraged to call 1-833-797-7772 to add an email address to receive the rescheduling notice.
“We will be following the same process and sequence for moving up second doses as we did for the first dose,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “Starting with health-care workers and then into our age-based approach, this will allow people to reschedule their second dose sooner, into any available appointment in any clinic across the province.”
The National Advisory Committee on Immunization guidance allows the mixing of mRNA vaccines if a matching dose is not available. Anyone who received a first dose of Moderna will be able to receive a second dose of Pfizer if Moderna is not available when they reschedule their second dose.
The use of AstraZeneca vaccine in Nova Scotia is still paused. The province expects more guidance in early June from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization on second doses for those who received a first dose of AstraZeneca. July 5 is the date the first group of Nova Scotians is due for a second dose.
The province is also taking further steps to help Nova Scotians who need assistance getting their vaccine:
— three drive-thru clinics will be in operation by the end of the first week in June in Dartmouth, Truro and Wolfville; these clinics are intended for vaccine recipients with mobility or sensory issues who are unable to access community, pharmacy or primary care clinics
— starting in early June, home vaccination will be available to Nova Scotians who cannot leave their homes without significant assistance; the focus will be on people receiving home care, home oxygen and people waiting for placement in long-term care before expanding to other groups
Key vaccine program statistics:
— 93.4 per cent of those over age 80 have had at least one dose
— 98.8 per cent of those aged 75 to 79 have had at least one dose
— 96.6 per cent of those aged 70 to 74 have had at least one dose
— 92.2 per cent of those aged 65 to 69 have had at least one dose
— 86.3 per cent of those aged 60 to 64 have had at least one dose
— 78.2 per cent of those aged 55 to 59 have had at least one dose
— 71.4 per cent of those aged 50 to 54 have had at least one dose
— 64.3 per cent of those aged 45 to 49 have had at least one dose
With a steady supply of vaccine, Nova Scotia expects to reach 75 per cent population immunity in September. These projections are based on Pfizer supply only and could change if the supply of the Moderna vaccine increases.
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/