HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia is reporting two new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, as it touts its vaccination efforts in the province where almost 56 per cent of people are fully vaccinated.

Public health is also reporting one new recovery bringing the active number of cases to 12.

Both cases are in Central zone where one is related to a close contact of a previously reported case. The other is related to travel and is connected to the Royal Canadian Navy frigate HMCS Halifax.

VACCINE SIDE EFFECTS

The province is advising Nova Scotians about an uncommon reaction to an mRNA vaccine called myocarditis and pericarditis, which has been reported in Canada, including in Nova Scotia.

Myocarditis is inflammation of the heart muscle, and pericarditis is inflammation of the outer lining of the heart.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, or feelings of a rapid or abnormal heart rhythm.

There have been 22 reported cases in Nova Scotia. Although most cases required hospitalization, they were relatively mild, and the individuals tended to recover quickly with conservative treatment and rest.

"It is important for Nova Scotians to understand both the benefits and potential risks associated with any vaccine in order to make an informed decision about vaccination," Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said in a release.

"When it comes to the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, the benefits of getting vaccinated far outweigh the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis."

These reactions are mostly experienced in people under 30 years of age within a week of receiving the vaccine. It also appears to be more common in males after the second dose.

Public health is urging everyone who is eligible for their second dose to move up their appointment so the province can reach its minimum target of 75 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, and move to the next phase of reopening by the end of August.

"Our collective efforts throughout the pandemic to follow restrictions and get tested have helped to limit COVID-19 activity in the province, but we can't stop here," said Strang.

"We now need everyone who can to get two doses of vaccine as soon as possible to add another and stronger layer of protection against the virus and its variants."

BREAKTHROUGH DATA

There have been 4,195 cases of COVID-19 from March 15 to July 21, 2021. Of those:

  • 27 (0.6 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 233 (5.6 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 3,935 (93.8 per cent) were unvaccinated

There were 254 people hospitalized. Of those:

  • 2 (0.8 per cent) were fully vaccinated
  • 28 (11 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 224 (88.2 per cent) were unvaccinated

Twenty-six people died. Of those:

  • 1 (3.8 per cent) was fully vaccinated
  • 3 (11.5 per cent) were partially vaccinated
  • 22 (84.6 per cent) were unvaccinated

There were 3,517 tests administered between July 16 and 22 at the rapid-testing pop-up sites in Halifax, Dartmouth, Cole Harbour, Bedford and Sydney.

On July 22, Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 2,821 tests.

As of July 22, 1,271,948 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered. Of those, 541,389 Nova Scotians have received their second dose.