Long-term care residents and adults 70 and older in Nova Scotia will soon be able to book a second booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine.
The decision to make a second booster available is based on updated guidelines released this week by the National Advisory Council on Immunization. More details on the Province’s rollout of second booster doses will be shared next week.
“The importance of vaccines cannot be overstated,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Most adults will get maximum protection from three doses of vaccine – that is, a two-dose primary series plus one booster. However, evidence has shown some weakening in protection against severe disease over time for those at highest risk due to age. A second booster is now recommended for those over the age of 70. By getting all the available doses recommended for your age group and health status, you are not only protecting yourself from severe disease, you’re protecting the people around you, too.”
People who are 70 and older can receive a booster dose 120 days following their primary series or their first booster dose. People under the age of 70 and who are eligible for their first booster dose can receive it 168 days following the primary series.
There are also updates on the availability of another vaccine, rapid test kits and the workplace screening program:
The Novavax vaccine has started arriving in the province and will be available for adults 18 and older as a first, second or third (booster) dose at select locations beginning Friday, April 8. Novavax can be used for all three doses, or as part of a mixed series with other approved vaccines.
Rapid testing kits
Nova Scotians are encouraged to keep COVID-19 rapid testing kits at home and use them any time they have symptoms, when someone else in their house tests positive, and as a way to protect others – like before gathering with someone at high risk of severe outcomes from COVID-19.
People can now pick up free rapid testing kits at the following locations:
— MLA offices
— public libraries across the province
— pop-up testing sites; current pop-up locations can be found on Nova Scotia Health Authority’s website: https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirus/covid-19-rapid-testing
— Access Nova Scotia locations; people going in for services will also be offered a package of rapid tests.
At all locations, there is a limit of one box per household member per visit. Each box contains five tests.
There is also a new partnership with Feed Nova Scotia that will provide testing kits to people accessing programs and services at some food banks.
Rapid testing kits will continue to be provided to students and staff at public schools as needed.
Workplace screening program
The government has made changes to its workplace screening program to focus on high-risk settings, like long-term care, acute care, corrections, shelters, and group homes.
More information on COVID-19 case data, testing and vaccination status is available at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/data/
Book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment: https://novascotia.ca/vaccination
Information on testing, including where to get a rapid testing kit, is available at: https://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirustesting
Government of Canada: https://canada.ca/coronavirus or 1-833-784-4397 (toll-free)