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COVID-19: N.S. reports 15 new deaths, opens fall booster appointments

Click to play video: 'Learning about the bivalent vaccine' Learning about the bivalent vaccine
Epidemiologist Cynthia Carr joins Global News Morning to talk about the upcoming flu season, COVID-19 number in Manitoba and the bivalent vaccine now available. – Sep 13, 2022

Nova Scotia reported 15 new deaths linked to COVID-19 in its latest weekly report — up from 10 deaths reported last week.

Last week, the province also surpassed 500 deaths recorded in Nova Scotia since the start of the pandemic. The toll is now at 522 deaths total.

In the seven-day period ending Sept. 12, the province saw 39 hospital admissions in a slight increase from the previous reporting period.

As of Tuesday, there were 48 active hospitalizations due to complications with COVID-19, including nine patients in intensive care. The median age of those hospitalized was 78.

Read more: Nova Scotia’s top doctor ‘concerned’ over COVID-19 complacency

Nova Scotia also recorded another 1,133 PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from 986 reported the previous period.

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This week, the province also released its monthly epidemiology report for August, in which it said it introduced the seventh wave of COVID-19, led by the BA.5 subvariant of Omicron. It officially began July 1.

During August, there were 6,882 PCR-confirmed cases of COVID-19, 208 hospitalizations and 33 deaths recorded. The province recorded 9 deaths in the July report, though it said a delay in reporting could have an impact on the number.

Of those who died from COVID-19 in August, 82 per cent were aged 70 and up, while 43 per cent were residents of long-term care facilities.

“Nova Scotians aged 70+ have been hospitalized at 15 times the rate of those 18-49 years of age and their rate of death is 161 higher compared to those under 50 years of age,” read the report.

“Unvaccinated Nova Scotians were hospitalized at nearly three times (2.9) the rate and died more than two (2.7) times the rate as those with three or more doses.”

As of this week, nearly 53 per cent of Nova Scotians have received three or more doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. Just under 82 per cent have two or more doses, while 14.7 per cent have received no doses and remain unvaccinated.

Earlier this month, the province opened up booster appointments for the pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children aged five to 11.

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New vaccine appointments open

On Thursday, Nova Scotia announced it has also opened up booster appointments for adults over the age of 65, with appointments beginning next Monday.

Read more: Fact check: Yes, the Moderna Omicron shot for Canada was tested on humans. What to know

More appointments will open up, based on age, in the coming weeks.

The province said is following the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) advice on fall vaccines to provide Moderna’s bivalent vaccine, which was adapted to target the Omicron variant.

“Public Health recommends that Nova Scotians 18 and older who are eligible for their fall dose receive a dose of bivalent vaccine rather than the original vaccine,” read a release.

The province said it will also work with African Nova Scotian and First Nations leaders to organize fall vaccine clinics in those communities.

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