**** HEALTH/WELLNESS Media Release
Province Ramps Up Rollout of Vaccines
The province is extending clinic hours and opening more clinics as part of its efforts to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccine rollout so all Nova Scotians can be fully vaccinated by the end of August.
More than 245,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine will arrive by the end of June, in addition to regular shipments of the Pfizer vaccine. Together, these shipments are enough to vaccinate half of the province’s eligible population.
“Moving up our vaccination rollout by more than a month is no small feat. We are expanding where we can, as quickly as we can,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “It is only because of the countless hours that hundreds of people across our health-care system have, and will, put in that we can fully protect more Nova Scotians sooner.”
Nova Scotia is leading the country in first dose vaccinations at 71.1 per cent. The national average is 66 per cent.
To support an accelerated timeline, the province has:
— invited people who received their first dose to move their second dose appointment forward and will continue to do so until every person who received their first dose in Nova Scotia has an opportunity to reschedule for an earlier appointment
— reduced the second dose interval for anyone in Nova Scotia who received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine to 28 days
— reduced the second dose interval for anyone who received a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna to 35 days
— increased the number of people who can schedule into a single appointment at a drive-thru clinic from one person to four; this allows up to four people in one vehicle to receive their vaccine at the same time
Moving forward, more changes to create greater access to vaccine will include:
— extending hours in clinics across the province to include more evenings and weekends to accommodate more appointments
— increasing the human resource capacity required to immunize more people
— converting two primary assessment centres into community vaccination clinics in Halifax (Bayers Lake) and New Glasgow
— opening a temporary community vaccination clinic in Berwick
— reopening the health-care worker vaccination clinic at St. Martha’s Regional Hospital in Antigonish for scheduled appointments for the general public
— the Nova Scotia Health Authority and Department of Health and Wellness, in partnership with the Immigrant Services Association of Nova Scotia and Halifax Refugee Clinic, have organized an additional vaccine clinic for newcomers; it will take place at the Newcomer Health Clinic in Halifax on June 26 and 27 for clinic patients
“Having high coverage rates with two doses of vaccine is key to safely reopening. Our ability to move up our timeline from end of September to end of August demonstrates that we have a strong vaccine rollout,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “I am proud of the program we have created and the dedication of our immunizers and volunteers on the front-lines and of those who are working behind the scenes.”
The province has also partnered with the Halifax Convention Centre, Canadian Armed Forces, Canadian Red Cross and IWK Health Centre to open a community vaccination clinic in the Nova Centre. This clinic is scheduled to open later this week to immunize people with scheduled second doses.
Due to its centralized location in a high foot-traffic area of the city, the clinic will expand in the coming days to offer a walk-in service only to people who need a first dose of vaccine.
— the province will deliver more than 100,000 doses a week over four weeks
— all Nova Scotians 65 and older will have an opportunity to be fully vaccinated by early July
Coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine: http://www.novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine
Coronavirus (COVID-19) book your vaccination appointment: http://www.novascotia.ca/vaccination
Rural Transportation Association: http://ruralrides.ca/