Nova Scotia remains envy of many Canadian jurisdictions with only 27 active COVID-19 cases
HALIFAX -- With just 27 active COVID-19 cases, Nova Scotia remains the envy of many other jurisdictions across the country.
"So far this week, over 20,000 Nova Scotians have received vaccine and every day we're vaccinating more people than we were the day before," said Premier Iain Rankin.
As of Thursday, more than 83,000 doses of vaccine have been administered in Nova Scotia – 23,000 of which were second doses.
"We're ready to start opening up for those over the age of 75 and if you're still over the age of 80, of course you can still book your appointment," said Rankin.
"There are appointments across the province in most communities and pharmacy clinics. Some of the locations are fully booked but we will be adding many more appointments to those, as well as adding additional locations when we receive our next shipment of vaccine," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health.
At a COVID-19 update Friday afternoon, Strang said he learned Thursday night that a shipment containing 14,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine will be delayed by about a week. However, he said the province can cover the gap with their existing vaccine supply.
"This highlights the importance of only opening appointments when our supply is confirmed," said Strang.
The vaccine supply is expected to ramp up over the next few months. In April, the province expects to receive 182,000 doses of vaccine; in May, more than 200,000 doses and 415,000 doses are expected to arrive in June.
Pharmacists and physicians will play a key role in delivering the vaccine to Nova Scotians.
"I am so proud of the whole response from physicians in Nova Scotia in terms of having such an enthusiastic response to saying, you know, how can we be involved in administering the vaccine. Patients are asking their doctors about it and we're so happy to be playing a role in rolling it out," said Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, the president of Doctors Nova Scotia.
With the rollout ramping up, there are concerns the provincial government isn't doing enough to combat vaccine hesitancy.
"We would really like to see a much more robust plan to tackle vaccine hesitancy," said Chris Parsons with the NS Health Coalition.
"That has to be based on the things we know actually work when it comes to debunking conspiracy theories and those things are one on one conversations with people arming people who are close to people who are vaccine hesitant with the tools they need to have conversations with them."