'This will be a milestone week,' says N.S. deputy minister responsible for vaccine rollout

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With 90 new cases reported on Tuesday, Nova Scotia's COVID-19 case count continues to slowly decrease while the vaccine rollout ramps up.

As of Monday, 436,054 doses of vaccine has been administered in Nova Scotia; of those, 39,561 are second doses.

This week, the province expects to receive about 50,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and 25,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

"This will be a milestone week and we'll have Wednesday and Thursday milestone days with darn close to 20,000 doses a day," said Tracey Barbrick, the associate deputy minister responsible for the vaccine rollout.

As of May 13, the province says all licensed long-term care facility residents have been fully vaccinated and residents of unlicensed seniors facilities are on track to be fully vaccinated by the end of May.

The province's vaccine rollout has been primarily aged-based.

Some key statistics include:

  • 91 per cent of those over age 80 have had at least one dose
  • 96 per cent of those aged 75 to 79 have had at least one dose
  • 93 per cent of those aged 70 to 74 have had at least one dose
  • 88 per cent of those aged 65 to 69 have had at least one dose
  • 80 per cent of those aged 60 to 64 have had at least one dose
  • 64 per cent of those aged 55 to 59 have had at least one dose

As of Tuesday, people 30 and older are eligible to book an appointment for a vaccine. The province hopes to open up bookings for all age groups by the end of next week.

"Our 11 and below right now can't get vaccinated which means our goal is to have 75 per cent of our entire population from birth to death vaccinated. So when you take the 11 and under out of the mix, that means the 12 and up actually have to overshoot 75 to get our entire population 75 per cent covered," said Barbrick.

Although many are choosing to get the vaccine, some people are still hesitant.

"Vaccine hesitancy is on a spectrum, so it can range anywhere from people who will accept the vaccine but have the concerns down to people who flat out reject the vaccine and everyone in between which may include people who delay making their appointments or consider cancelling their appointments because of concern," said Dr. Karina Top, a Halifax vaccine and infectious disease specialist.

Top said there are very few medical reasons why you can't get vaccinated.

"Other reasons people have concerns might be just you know, questions around the safety of the vaccine in general, concerns about adverse effects, and you know general lack of trust in the vaccine program, or the vaccine manufacturers, those types of things. Again, these vaccines have been rigorously tested for safety just as rigorously as any other vaccine," she said.