Nova Scotians aged 40 to 54 now eligible for AstraZeneca vaccine

Nova Scotians aged 40 to 54 are now eligible to book appointments for the AstraZeneca vaccine.

On Wednesday, Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Robert Strang, said cancelled appointments for AstraZeneca shots as other vaccines become available have opened availability of AstraZeneca, with as many as 10,000 doses still unused.

AstraZeneca vaccine appointments are also still open for people who are 55 to 64 years old.

On Thursday, Strang says the province's main focus is to get everyone vaccinated as quickly as possible.

"We are being very successful with our age-based focus, moving quickly down through five-year age cohorts," said Strang during a live news conference on Thursday. "We're down to 55 to 59 year olds; soon we'll be in that 50 year old group and within a week or two, 40 year olds... Once we get to June, we're into the 20 year olds."

Strang said he is pleased with the province's vaccine rollout program.

"If we start to change our program now, we then have to readjust and we slow everything down. That would be the wrong thing to do," Strang explained. "We have a good program; we'll have everybody vaccinated within the next four to six weeks. We need to stay focused on that."

On Friday, Nova Scotia reported 67 new COVID-19 cases, 57 of which are in the province's Central zone.

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, are scheduled to provide a live update on the ongoing COVID-19 situation on Friday at 2 p.m. AT.