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Nova Scotia reports 18 COVID-19 deaths in latest weekly update

Click to play video: 'Nova Scotia ahead of national average with COVID-19 booster shots' Nova Scotia ahead of national average with COVID-19 booster shots
Second booster doses are being made available for seniors across the country but uptake in vaccines has slowed since the primary series rollout. Health officials say 82 per cent of Canadians are fully vaccinated -- but only 60 per cent of people over 18 have received a booster shot. Nova Scotia is ahead of the national average, but experts say we should be doing better. Alicia Draus reports – Apr 28, 2022

Nova Scotia reported 18 additional deaths linked to COVID-19 in its latest weekly update.

The median age of reported deaths is 81, the province said in a release.

In the seven-day period ending May 9, there were 65 new hospitalizations for COVID-19.

The release said severe outcomes from the virus are declining in the sixth wave, but risk remains 10 times higher for those aged 70 and older, compared to those aged 18 to 49.

“The number of hospitalizations and deaths remains high — and that’s important to keep in mind even as we make our way out of the sixth wave,” said Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health, in the release.

Read more: Small businesses struggle to bounce back from pandemic impacts

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Public Health said numbers of new cases are declining.

From May 3 to May 9, there were 3,118 new PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19 recorded — an average of about 445 new cases per day.

The median age of those infected since the start of the fifth wave, Dec. 8, 2021, is 42.

According to the province, the number of COVID-19 infections in long-term care facilities are down this week, though the sixth wave has seen more than twice as many confirmed cases in these facilities to date compared to the fifth wave.

“The number of hospitalizations and deaths remains very low because of the protection provided by vaccines,” the release read.

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As for vaccinations, the weekly report shows 65.2 per cent of Nova Scotians have received a booster dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Thursday. More than 41,580 people have received a fourth dose as well.

The province said staying up-to-date on vaccinations “continues to offer significant protection against severe outcomes.”

“Having at least one booster dose reduces the risk of hospitalization by more than 84 per cent and the risk of death by more than 92 per cent compared to those who are unvaccinated or have only one dose,” it said.

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Fourth doses of the vaccine are available to residents of long term care facilities, adults over the age of 69 and First Nations residents aged 55 and up.

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Nova Scotia also announced on Thursday it will begin reporting on adverse events from COVID-19 vaccines quarterly instead of monthly.

The next report will be published in July and will cover the period between April 1 and June 30, the province said.

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