Nova Scotia to receive 1,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, dry run of distribution this week

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Coronavirus: ‘No corners cut’ by Health Canada in approving vaccine candidates, Trudeau says
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Monday that Health Canada would cut no corners in deciding whether or not to approve the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine or other vaccine candidates for COVID-19. Trudeau said the regulatory process must be “as rigorous as it always is.” – Dec 7, 2020

Nova Scotia has confirmed to Global News that it will receive 1,950 doses of the first batch of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine next week.

The province says that in order to be prepared for when the vaccine does arrive, it will be participating in a dry run this week with the federal government, Dalhousie University and Pfizer.

Read more: First coronavirus vaccine shots could be doled out in Canada next week

The exercise will test shipping, delivery, tracking and storage but not include any doses of the actual vaccine.

Marla MacInnis, a spokesperson for the health department, says that the initial test run of doses is scheduled to arrive next week.

Read more: Nova Scotia expects to start COVID-19 vaccinations for high-risk groups in January

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There’s still lots of details to be worked out, MacInnis said, and in the meantime the province is encouraging residents to continue to follow public health guidelines.

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That includes wearing a mask, maintaining two metres of physical distance, proper hand hygiene and adhering to gathering limits.

Click to play video: 'Coronavirus: Nova Scotia health official discusses COVID-19 vaccine planning'
Coronavirus: Nova Scotia health official discusses COVID-19 vaccine planning

Last week, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said that so far, Nova Scotia has one ultralow-temperature freezer to store the vaccine at the tertiary care teaching hospital complex in Halifax.

Strang said the freezer has been validated and cleared and is ready to accept the initial shipment of vaccine from the federal government.

He said the province was also getting another through Ottawa that will operate out of a central depot for vaccines at the public health office in Halifax.

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Premier Stephen McNeil also said that the province had identified other freezers in the private sector and was in the process of procuring them.

With files from The Canadian Press

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