55,000 Nova Scotians expected to receive first dose of COVID vaccine this week
HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia NDP Leader Gary Burrill received his first dose of the COVID vaccine at a Halifax pharmacy Wednesday afternoon.
Burrill is one of 55,000 Nova Scotians that will be rolling up their sleeves this week for a shot.
"I never felt better," he told CTV News after getting immunized.
Burrill said he was grateful for all the work Public Health has been doing around the vaccine rollout.
"I can’t think of anything I ever did in my life that was easier than getting the vaccine this afternoon," said Burrill.
Former premier Stephen McNeil also got vaccinated Wednesday.
McNeil, who still represents the riding of Annapolis in the provincial legislature, tweeted that he received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine at the Wolfville Lions Club.
Vaccine is being offered across the province in a number of ways, including community clinics, physician clinics and mobile clinics. At the peak of the rollout, nearly 300 pharmacies will be offering the shot.
"We have more capacity to deliver than we have vaccine at the moment and I know projections are that we will hopefully hit capacity later in May but right now every drop of vaccine we get we're putting into people's arms," said Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia.
The province received its first shipment of vaccine in December. As of Tuesday, 169,851 shots have been administered in Nova Scotia, with more than 31,000 of them being second doses.
It's expected 63,000 vaccines will be administered next week across the province.
"Early May we'll start to be at full capacity. So, our clinic capacity in the system will be about 86,000 doses a week. We don't expect to see that level of supply until June. So, we've built a system that's ready for it and if we get the chance to receive additional vaccine we will be able to take it but we likely won't have the supply to have us fully operational at that level until early June," said Tracey Barbrick, associate deputy minister of vaccine rollout in Nova Scotia.
The province says they're on track to give every Nova Scotian who wants a vaccine their first shot by the end of June.
"It's going to take a while to get to the herd immunity plan," said Dr. Lisa Barrett, infectious disease specialist and scientist.
"Although, in the United States they've been a little more permissive about letting people gather in larger groups or do more activity without masks when they've had one dose or two doses. I certainly would still think that we're going to air on the side of caution, have people do a little more but not too much more until we all get fully vaccinated," she said.