The much anticipated first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Nova Scotia today – the first allotment of 1,950 doses.
Due to strict transportation, handling and storage requirements, the first vaccinations will be administered in Halifax, where the vaccine is stored.
“This is a milestone in the battle against the virus,” said Premier Stephen McNeil in a press release. “As the supply increases, every Nova Scotian will have access to the vaccine. But this will take many months, and I ask everyone to be patient in the meantime as the vaccine rollout begins with front-line health-care workers and the most vulnerable.”
The first immunization clinic, operated by Nova Scotia Public Health, will start Wednesday, Dec. 16. Those who work in the following areas will receive the vaccine this month: COVID-19 units in hospitals, emergency departments, critical care units, birth unit and early labour unit at the IWK Health Centre, and regional care units.
Long-term care staff directly involved in patient care in Central Zone, including designated caregivers, will receive the vaccine in December. All other long-term care staff, including designated caregivers, across the province will receive the vaccine between January and March.
Nova Scotia’s immunization plan takes a phased approach, following the National Advisory Committee on Immunization guidance on COVID-19 vaccine. The province will continue to receive small weekly shipments of vaccine until the end of March 2021, when the supply is expected to increase.