COVID-19 vaccine arrives in province and first immunization clinic for HCWs set for Wednesday
The first 1,950 doses of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Nova Scotia this morning and immunization clinics for health care workers (HCWs) most directly involved in the COVID response will begin tomorrow, (Wednesday, Dec. 16).
As noted previously, Nova Scotia Health will focus on immunizing HCWs in Central Zone for the first vaccinations as the Pfizer vaccine can’t be moved around the province given its strict storage, handling and transportation requirements.
HCWs in the Central Zone providing direct patient care in the following care areas related to COVID-19 will be vaccinated first:
- COVID-19 inpatient units
- Emergency departments
- Critical care inpatient units
- Birth unit and early labour unit at the IWK Health Centre
- Regional Care Units (RCUs)
Leaders in these units have provided Nova Scotia Health Occupational Health, Safety and Wellness (OHSW) with names and contact information for those included in this first round of immunizations. Starting today, OHSW is scheduling the vaccinations and will send appointment details directly to eligible health care workers.
We recognize that other Nova Scotia Health employees, physicians, learners and volunteers are eager to receive the vaccine and have compelling reasons to be vaccinated. We are committed to ensuring that all HCWs are provided access to vaccine as additional supply becomes available. We are following the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) recommendations on vaccine rollout.
Doses of the Moderna vaccine are expected to begin arriving later this month. The province is expected to receive small, weekly shipments of vaccine until the end of March 2021. The vaccine is administered in two doses. To be eligible for vaccination, HCWs must commit to receiving both doses.
Please remember that it will take months to provide the vaccine to all of the health care workers and Nova Scotians who need and want it. Until such time as a critical mass of Nova Scotians have received the vaccine, employees, physicians, learners and volunteers will have to continue following public health and workplace COVID-19 guidelines around social distancing and masking, as well as being vigilant as usual about hand hygiene.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation throughout this process. We are committed to sharing more information with you as it becomes available.