Nova Scotia opens COVID-19 vaccine appointments for people 70 and older

Any Nova Scotian who is 70 and older can now book an appointment to receive a shot of either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine.

"We're well on track to meet our target of delivering a first dose to every Nova Scotian by the end of June," said Nova Scotia Premier Iain Rankin.

Appointments for the first 13,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine were fully booked. The province's top doctor says another 38,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine are expected to arrive in Nova Scotia next week. People who are between the ages of 55 and 64 will be able to book an appointment for the AstraZeneca shot starting on Tuesday, April 6.

"I want to assure Nova Scotians that if we did not think this vaccine was safe, if Health Canada did not believe it was safe it would not be part of our vaccine program," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's Chief Medical Officer of Health.

The first outreach clinic is now operating in Halifax with a mobile unit delivering vaccine to the homeless population. 106,623 doses of vaccine have been administered in Nova Scotia as of March 31. More than 28,000 of them are second doses.

The number of Nova Scotians getting tested for COVID is up significantly this week, with the lab processing more than 4,000 tests a day in each of the last two days.

"I was talking to them this morning and they already had another 4,000 tests ready to process today," said Strang.
According to Strang, provincial health officials have now developed a process to pre-screen for variant cases.

"This test can give an initial sense of whether a positive specimen is a variant. It can't identify which variant but it does give us same day results and then all the positive specimens through this screening test are sent to the National Lab," he said.

With just 24 active cases, Nova Scotia's COVID case count remains low and the premier says the Atlantic bubble is still on track to open later this month.

"So far April 19 would be the date. We continue to monitor New Brunswick on a daily basis and so far that outbreak has been contained to the Edmundston and surrounding communities," said Rankin.