HALIFAX -- Starting Saturday, a third COVID-19 vaccine will be available for Nova Scotians.

Nova Scotians ages 63 and 64 will be the first group eligible to access the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine beginning March 20.

The vaccine will be available at 25 locations across the province on a first come, first served basis.

"We have a solid plan to offer the AstraZeneca vaccine to a specific age group as a start and it's thanks to the hard work of everyone at Doctors Nova Scotia and the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia who answered the call," said N.S. Premier Iain Rankin in a release. "This vaccine provides another tool in our fight against COVID-19 and builds on the roll-out that is already underway in our province as we work to vaccinate all Nova Scotians."

Public health says as supply of AstraZeneca increases, they will offer the vaccine to Nova Scotians between the ages of 50 to 64, starting with those who are oldest and working backward by age.

"All COVID-19 vaccines provide good protection against severe COVID-19 illness," said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health in a statement. "Having the AstraZeneca vaccine will allow eligible Nova Scotians to have an option to receive an earlier immunization."

The province has partnered with the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia and Doctors Nova Scotia to help deliver 13,000 doses of the vaccine before April 2.

"I'm pleased government called upon doctors to support the vaccine rollout,” said Dr. Robyn MacQuarrie, president of Doctors Nova Scotia. “It's been a long year, and the best way to get through this and protect Nova Scotians from COVID-19 is to get vaccine in arms as soon as possible.”

"Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians are eager to do their part to end this pandemic,” added Allison Bodnar, CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia. “With all health-care providers working together, we believe that we will be successful in getting Nova Scotians their COVID-19 vaccine quickly."

The AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is given on a two-dose schedule. Booking for appointments opens Tuesday, March 16 and can be made online or by calling toll-free 1-833-797-7772.

The following pharmacies will offer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Shoppers Drug Mart, 766 Sackville Dr., Lower Sackville
  • Kyte's Pharmacy, 920 Cole Harbour Rd., Dartmouth
  • Lawton's Drug Store, 8003 #7 Hwy., Musquodoboit Harbour
  • Sobeys Pharmacy, 110 Warwick St., Digby
  • Guardian - Hutchins Pharmacy, 310 St. George St., Annapolis Royal
  • Walmart Pharmacy, 1065 Central Ave., Greenwood
  • Stones Drug Store, 491 Chebucto St., Baddeck
  • Freeman's Pharmacy, 15786 Central Ave., Inverness
  • Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy, 288 Welton St., Sydney
  • Amherst Pharmasave, 158 Robert Angus Dr., Amherst
  • Pictou Pharmasave, 33 Water St., Pictou
  • Guardian - Elmsdale Pharmacy, 269 Hwy. 214, Elmsdale
  • Drug Store Pharmacy (located in Atlantic Superstore), 394 Westville Rd., New Glasgow

The following family physician clinics will offer the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine:

  • Geriatrics in Motion, 65 Prestwick Cl., Halifax
  • Woodlawn Medical Centre, 92 Main St., Dartmouth
  • Dalhousie Family Medicine (Spryfield location), 16 Denith Rd., Halifax
  • Dalhousie Family Medicine (Mumford location), 265-6960 Mumford Rd., Halifax
  • Berwick Family Practice, 121 Orchard St., Berwick
  • Queens General Hospital, 175 School St., Liverpool
  • Harvest Tides Family Practice, 70 Exhibition St., New Minas
  • Middleton Collaborative Practice, 452 Main St., Middleton
  • Colchester Research Group/ Truro Walk-In Clinic, 68 Robie St., Truro
  • Mediplex: Medical Complex and Clinics, 40 Church St., Antigonish
  • Island Family Health Care, 308-45 Weatherbee Rd., Sydney
  • Northside Family Collaborative, 116 King St., North Sydney

Also on Tuesday, Nova Scotia launched its first two pharmacy prototype vaccination clinics. Two more are set to launch the week of March 15.

The province says they will open 10 community-based vaccination clinics across the province by the end of March.

As of Tuesday, 40,231 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered so far. Of those, 25,689 were first doses and 14,542 were Nova Scotians receiving their second dose

Of the vaccines administered 31,855 went to health care workers, and 5,334 were long-term care residents.

To date, the province has received a total of 73,680 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, and are holding 10,881 in reserve for second doses and planned clinics.

The province also says they will soon have more vaccine than expected with 38,000 extra doses of Pfizer-BioNtech arriving in the last two weeks of March.

Recently updated guidelines from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has extended the second dose interval of COVID-19 vaccines to 16 weeks. This change means more Nova Scotians will receive a first dose of vaccine sooner.