Those on the front lines of Nova Scotia’s vaccine rollout say the provincial supply is on track to have residents double-dosed by the fall.
“It’s a four-month interval right now. So, we’re expecting that by the end of September we’ll have the population with two doses of vaccine in their arm,” said Tracey Barbrick, COVID-19 Immunization Strategy associate deputy minister.
“And, if there’s the opportunity to get enough supply, we would look at whether we can move those doses up a little bit for second doses,”
Barbrick says the current supply is still on track to have all Nova Scotians able to receive their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine by June.
She adds Nova Scotia’s age-based approach to immunization is what’s guiding the opening of vaccines to different age cohorts.
“Making sure that there’s enough available appointments that we can get the majority of that age group into an appointment and scheduled before we move onto the next group,” she said.
Allison Bodnar, the CEO of the Pharmacy Association of Nova Scotia, says vaccines are administered through three different providers: public health clinics, physician clinics, and pharmacy clinics.
Bodnar says the allotments of vaccines are adjusted by the province to ensure equal vaccination rates are maintained across the four health zones.
“To ensure that the province comes down equally in the age cohorts. So, they don’t want as an example – the Northern zone having empty appointments when another zone might have no appointments and still lots of people in that age cohort,” Bodnar says.
Bodnar says it’s important to note that the distribution of vaccine allotments will be made with the overarching goal of having equal vaccination rates across the four health zones.
“I think people need to understand that the vaccine allocation (is) by the same team that we’ve trusted for the last year to get us through his pandemic,” Bodnar said.
“They are doing everything to ensure that every Nova Scotian is getting vaccinated as quickly as possible and as equitably as possible.”