The first phase of Nova Scotia's COVID-19 immunization plan is on track to be finished by mid-April.
According to figures provided by the province Tuesday, it is currently 50 per cent complete.
Phase one includes 24,000 health care workers who deal directly with patients in hospital or in home, 40,000 people who live and/or work in group settings such as long-term care homes, 48,000 seniors aged 80+, and those deemed an increased risk including First Nations, African Nova Scotians, shelter residents and staff.
As of the end of the day yesterday (March 22), Nova Scotia had received 119,110 doses of vaccine, 60,660 of which have already been injected, and another 21,856 second doses which are currently being held in freezers to be used by April 2. An additional 36,594 doses are expected to be administered at clinics by the end of the week.
Another 81,000 doses are scheduled to arrive in the last week of March, giving us a total of 200,250 by the end of this month.
By mid-May the province expects all clinics to be operating at full capacity, administering 86,000 doses per week. Seventy per cent of those will be delivered at pharmacies and primary care clinics, another 29 per cent at community clinics and the remaining one per cent at mobile outreach clinics.
At a COVID-19 briefing Tuesday the province's chief medical officer of health said the month-of-birth approach to booking appointments will likely continue.
"We're also planning, as we get much more vaccine, we're working and should have by the middle of April, another call centre set up, which will greatly increase our ability to book appointments," said Dr. Robert Strang.
"It's middle of April when we start to get substantially larger amounts of vaccine, so we'll continue to adjust that registration process ... so we don't overwhelm that system."
By the end of June, the province says all willing Nova Scotians should be able to get their first shot. It's expected we'll have received 801,450 doses in total by then.
- The following age groups are anticipated to become eligible to schedule an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in April: 75 to 79, 70 to 74, 65 to 69, 60 to 64, 55 to 59.
- The following age groups are anticipated to become eligible to schedule an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in May: 50 to 54, 45 to 49, 40 to 44, 35 to 39, 30 to 34, 25 to 29.
- The following age groups are anticipated to become eligible to schedule an appointment to receive their COVID-19 vaccine in June: 20 to 24, 16 to 19.
Anyone 80 years or older is eligible to book their appointment now online or by calling 1-833-797-7772 .
Strang stated this timeline is based on current allotment projections.
"As we get additional vaccines into our program, whether it's more AstraZeneca, or if at some point in the future we get Johnson & Johnson or other vaccines that are still in the process of being approved, we will add those in as makes the most sense to the overall vaccine program," explained Strang.
"But until we actually get confirmation of timing and exact amounts, it's hard to figure out exactly what would be the best way to use those vaccines, because the situation we're in now will look very different in a month from now or two months from now."