HALIFAX -- Nova Scotia announced Thursday it has administered 400,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

It means the province has doubled the number of vaccinations in less than a month, after celebrating 200,000 doses on April 16.

Since then, the age groups for vaccine eligibility have been lowered five times, making more than 558,000 people eligible to book an appointment.

"We have seen a rapid expansion of our COVID-19 vaccination program across the province over a few short weeks. We are now closer than ever to providing everyone who is able to receive the vaccine a first dose by the end of June," Premier Iain Rankin said in a news release.

"Thank you to all staff who are working to provide vaccinations for Nova Scotians. I was able to drop in virtually to the clinic in Sydney today to help celebrate the 400,000th dose. You're doing a great job! Thank you."

As of Wednesday, about 37.5 per cent of Nova Scotians have been given one or more doses of the vaccine.

The province has yet to release Thursday's COVID-19 case numbers. 

The province also says it has reached vaccine coverage rates of more than 80 per cent in people aged 60 and older.

"Our vaccination program is a marathon, not a race. We've always said we need to get good, before we get fast," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health said in a release.

To ensure there is no waste, a new waitlist has been added to the vaccine booking page. People can now request to be added to a waitlist at the clinic where they have booked. If there is a cancellation, the person may be called to immediately receive their vaccine, which frees up an appointment and a dose for someone else.

Key vaccine program statistics:

  • all licensed long-term care facility residents have been fully vaccinated
  • residents of unlicensed seniors facilities are on track to be fully vaccinated by the end of May
  • 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