Delivery delay slows down vaccination, but it will pick up again and remains on target in N.S.
HALIFAX -- The pace of vaccinations in the Maritimes has slowed slightly due to a delay in vaccine supply delivery. However, according to officials, the provinces say they are on track to reach their targets.
Halifax MP Andy Fillmore got his first shot Wednesday – taking the Oxford-AstraSeneca vaccine as politicians do their part to try to address concerns about that company's COVID-19 vaccine.
"Should you wait, should you not?" Fillmore said. "The advice from Health Canada has remained consistent; the best vaccine is the first vaccine you can get."
Nova Scotia MLA Claudia Chender got AstraZeneca, too, reiterating the message of officials this week.
"I certainly don't want to be bringing home the virus, so you know, for my personal risk assessment, I felt like the first shot offered was the best shot," Chender said.
But news that a New Brunswicker who received AstraZeneca died of the rare blood clot associated with it makes some nervous.
"I want to be vaccinated as soon as possible, but I want to do whatever one is safest," said Joell Majeau.
Hearing Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health describe Pfizer and Moderna as the "better" vaccines helped Majeau make up her mind, but they're not yet available to her age group.
"I'm talking to my friends in the States and they're all like, 'I've got my second shot, my age group, we're all good,' and it's like, I haven't even gotten my first shot yet," said Majeau.
Tracey Barbrick is the associate deputy minister of health in Nova Scotia and the head of Nova Scotia's vaccine rollout.
She says to expect age categories to open up weekly from here on out.
"We went to 50 plus this past Monday, and we expect to go to forty-five plus very soon," Barbrick said.
Last month, Nova Scotia was the fastest vaccinating province. That slowed over the past two weeks because of lower supply, but more Moderna is on the way.
"We'll have a week with a bit of an increase, but the total Moderna that we're expecting isn't getting any bigger," Barbrick said. "We're just getting a shipment a little earlier than we expected."
She says the province is on target to get the first dose into all eligible Nova Scotians by the end of June.
As for the second that depends on supply.
"We'll figure out whether we can bring everybody up a little bit so that their second dose is sooner," Barbrick said.
As for the AstraZeneca vaccine, Nova Scotia health officials say there are still about 200 appointments available for that right now, but they don't anticipate having any leftover doses.