Nova Scotia will run out of vaccine before the next shipments arrive, the province’s chief medical officer of health said Tuesday.
Dr. Robert Strang said health-care worker vaccination clinics at Cape Breton Regional Hospital in Sydney and Valley Regional Hospital in Kentville will continue next week.
But clinics at Colchester-Cumberland Regional Hospital in Truro and Dalhousie University in Halifax will only resume once the province gets more vaccine.
“We know we’re not getting any Pfizer vaccine next week and the week after we’re getting 1,950 doses, a tray of vaccine,” Strang said at a news briefing Tuesday in Halifax. “Beyond that there’s no certainty what the amount of vaccine, whether it’s Pfizer or Moderna we’re gonna get.”
The uncertainty has been caused by manufacturing delays at Pfizer and indications from the European Union that it will slow down vaccine exports to protect its own supply.
Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are made in Europe.
'Still on target'
Strang said despite the uncertain vaccine schedule at the moment, “we’re still on target for all Nova Scotians having an opportunity to be vaccinated by the end of September.”
All staff, residents and designated caregivers have been vaccinated at Northwood’s Halifax and Bedford campuses, Harbourstone Enhanced Care in Sydney and Oceanview Continuing Care Centre in Dartmouth. The rollout at Parkstone Enhanced Care in Clayton Park is about 98 per cent complete and will be completed next week.
By Thursday, an additional seven long-term-care facilities across the province will have vaccine to start their immunization programs.
“The long-term-care staff at these facilities will be invited to the local health-care worker clinics and that will ensure we have enough appropriate vaccine for the residents and designated caregivers to be vaccinated on-site at these long-term care facilities,” Strang said.
A prototype clinic for people over 80 in the community is still scheduled to start in mid- to late February at the IWK Health Centre.
Strang said these community clinics - others are planned in First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities - “will help us understand what works and what doesn’t work so when we’re ready to administer large quantities of vaccine, we are able to do so immediately.”
Look for the Public Health’s mobile health unit at @DalhousieU! Drop by for you #COVID-19 test on Tuesday, Jan. 26 or Wednesday, Jan. 27 at Goldberg Computer Science Building (Use the Henry St. entrance) from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. pic.twitter.com/OFJ6S9MdBw— Nova Scotia Health (@HealthNS) January 26, 2021
One new case
Nova Scotia reported one new COVID-19 case on Tuesday as the level of viral activity continued to drop.
The number of active cases is down by four to 11, the lowest level since Oct. 31.
Nova Scotia Health Authority's labs completed 1,592 Nova Scotia tests on Monday.
Since Oct. 1, Nova Scotia has completed 154,002 tests. There have been 483 positive COVID-19 cases and no deaths. No one is currently in hospital.
Cases range in age from under 10 to over 70. Four hundred and seventy-two cases are now resolved.
At the briefing Tuesday, Premier Stephen McNeil said despite the low viral activity, the current public health restrictions will remain in place for now, citing the more aggressive variants of COVID-19 that have been found in Nova Scotia, as well as the uncertain vaccine supply.
“And so we will keep things the way they are in this province,” he said. “We’re open for business … with restrictions but we’re not wide open for gatherings. I hope all of you can understand. I know you’re making sacrifices and I know it’s hard but we are putting your safety first.”
Also Tuesday, Nova Scotia Health Public Health issued an advisory about potential exposure to COVID-19 at two locations in Halifax.
"Out of an abundance of caution, and given the current testing capacity available, anyone who worked or visited the following locations on the specified dates and times should immediately visit covid-self-assessment.novascotia.ca/ to book a COVID-19 test, regardless of whether they have COVID-19 symptoms. You can also call 811 if you don’t have online access. or if you have other symptoms that concern you."
If you have symptoms of COVID-19 you must self-isolate while waiting for your test result. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19 you do not need to self-isolate while you wait for your test result:
- Atlantic Photo Supply Halifax (6111 Pepperell St., Halifax) on Jan. 20 between 12 p.m. and 1:30 p.m. It is anticipated anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 3.
- HomeSense Bayers Lake (9 Washmill Lake Ct., Halifax) on Jan. 22 between 5:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. It is anticipated anyone exposed to the virus at this location on the named date may develop symptoms up to, and including, Feb. 5.