COVID-19 vaccinations to begin at Halifax homeless shelters in early April
Nova Scotia Health's new mobile units are vans that can travel to communities around the province. They are staffed by public health team members trained in testing and investigation processes, such as public health nurses. (Photo via Nova Scotia Health).
HALIFAX -- Public health in Nova Scotia says COVID-19 mobile units will begin vaccinating at seven Halifax homeless shelters in early April.
"This is an important milestone in our efforts to bring vaccine to every Nova Scotian," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health. "People will get their first dose and we will work with the shelters to make sure everyone gets their second dose within four months."
Nova Scotia has already launched clinics for health-care workers, long-term care and in the community, and beginning March 20, clinics in pharmacies and doctor's offices.
Health officials say delivering vaccines through their mobile units allows the vaccine to be more accessible to certain groups and is an important part of Nova Scotia's vaccine rollout plan.
"We have communities in our province who historically have been difficult to reach or have experienced barriers to accessing health services," said Premier Iain Rankin. "One of the first vaccine stops for our mobile units will be to immunize people who use, work, or volunteer at homeless shelters."
The mobile units will help administer vaccine to about 900 people who use, work or volunteer at shelters in Halifax region, with help from Nova Scotia Public Health and the Mobile Outreach Street Health team at the North End Community Health Centre.
Public health says the North End Community Health Centre also has a van that they will use to support the vaccination of shelters.
"The plan is for the mobile units to help deliver vaccine over the coming months," wrote the province in a news release on Tuesday. "The mobile units can be outfitted with immunization supplies, have the ability to transport and store vaccine to maintain appropriate temperature conditions for vaccine, and have public health nurses assigned who can support immunization administration."
Public health says the mobile units also network capabilities that allow them to document vaccine administration in real time.