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N.S. top doctor urging families to vaccinate kids 12 and older before school year

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Nova Scotia’s top doctor has penned a letter to parents, one month before the new school year begins, to “strongly encourage” families to vaccinate children 12 and older against COVID-19.

Dr. Robert Strang said that Public Health is working with the province’s education department on a Return to School plan, that will be available “soon.”

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In the letter, Strang said he recognizes the challenges of the last school year, and acknowledges many will now be thinking of the upcoming year.

Strang noted the time to vaccinate — is now.

“We all need two doses of the vaccine to be fully protected, and it takes two weeks after your second dose to have full immunity,” he wrote.

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“The first day of schools is now about four weeks away.”

He pointed out that the sooner people are fully vaccinated. the sooner they can help protect children under the age of 12 who aren’t eligible for the vaccine yet.

As well, the sooner the province gets to 75 per cent of the population fully vaccinated, the sooner Nova Scotia can move to phase 5 of the reopening plan and lift restrictions.

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The latest data shows 67.4 per cent of Nova Scotia’s overall population is fully vaccinated with two doses.

“When we lift restrictions and mandatory measures in Nova Scotia, and even if you are fully vaccinated, it will still be important for all Nova Scotians to continue to follow good public health practices like staying home when sick, washing hands regularly, coughing and sneezing into your elbow, and regularly cleaning surfaces touched by many people,” he cautioned.

He added that people may choose to keep wearing masks in public, especially during flu season — all in a bid to prevent the spread of illnesses, including COVID-19.

Doing so, he said, would “keep people in schools, homes and other settings healthier.”

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The province currently has 19 active cases of COVID-19.

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