Rate of second booster dose on the rise in Nova Scotia

Each day on the job before he sees patients, pharmacist Jamie Flynn dilutes doses of COVID-19 vaccine.

Each individual Pfizer vial contain six separate doses.

“If I had 15 patients that day, I might have to use two and a half vials,” said Flynn.

Based on that patient load, Flynn would hypothetically waste three doses which he said happens often.

According to Flynn, all was quiet on the vaccine front for roughly a month, but now that the fourth dose is available, things are picking up.

“I had a busy week last week and a busy week this week," explained Flynn. "With people quite eager to have the fourth doses.”

“If we need another one, I will get it,” said senior Peggy Hammond who received her fourth shot Tuesday morning.

Independent Nova Scotia MLA Elizabeth Smith-McCrossin wants fourth dose availability to increase for people who are immunocompromised and for all healthcare workers.

“For some reason, this time around they are not being prioritized,” said Smith-McCrossin.

Dr. Robert Strang said Nova Scotia always strictly follows the recommendations of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization.

"They have recommended a second booster dose for people who are 70 years of age and above and for people who live in long term care facilities,“said Strang.

More than eight per cent of Nova Scotians 70 years of age and older have already received their second booster dose.

Dr. Strang saidthose who are immunocompromised are in fact already able to get a fourth shot.

“But there are no recommendations for a second dose for healthcare worker,” he said.

Dr. Strang added Nova Scotia has been able to manage the demand for COVID-19 vaccine versus the supply with a low wastage rate so far.