With ‘dramatic surge’ in supply on the way, Strang urges rebooking second doses ‘as soon as you can’

By Meghan Groff

The province's chief medical officer of health is encouraging Nova Scotians to reschedule their second COVID-19 vaccines when they are invited.

Second doses were automatically scheduled when booking the first, but with more supply flowing into the province, Nova Scotians are being asked to move that date up.

As of Thursday, around 200,000 people have been invited to rebook — anyone who got their shot on or before May 1 — and 75 per cent have taken advantage of the opportunity.

“Over the next few weeks, we'll get more than 400,000 doses of vaccine,” said Dr. Robert Strang at a Thursday briefing. “This is a dramatic surge in our supply and well above the maximum we anticipated.”

“Ultimately it's a game-changer, everyone will get their second doses much earlier than originally scheduled.”

Strang used himself as an example, saying he was originally booked for his second shot on August 3, but will instead get it on June 28.

“So that means I'm going to get my second dose protection and I'm fully protected five weeks earlier,” he said. 

“The more Nova Scotians we can get with two dose full protection, and the sooner we can do that, allows all of us to be safer as we reopen and allows us to reopen more broadly.”

If you didn't provide an email when booking your first dose you can call 1-833-797-7772 to get one added. 

If you got a Pfizer or Moderna for a first dose, you can get either one of those mRNA vaccines for your second.

If you had an AstraZeneca vaccine, you can stick with that for your second dose, but Strang has officially recommended switching to an mRNA option instead.

Strang admitted there have been some glitches with the central booking system, adding it took him three days to reschedule his shot.

“The vast majority of people are having very good experiences, but when we opened it for the first time a few days ago for rebooking, there was a lot of people doing that,” he said. “Our system can only handle so much volume so it does require a bit of patience.”

He's asking people to stay off the site until they get their emailed invite.

Strang said as long as Nova Scotians keep moving up their second doses, we could hit our goal of having a minimum of 75 per cent of the population fully vaccinated by early to mid-August.

“Which is several months ahead of what we initially thought,” he said.

“We are making great progress,” he added.

“Sixty-nine per cent of Nova Scotians now have one or more doses and I'm starting to figure out what tie I'm going to wear when we celebrate hitting our minimum target of 75 per cent.”

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