Fall dose of COVID-19 vaccine available starting today

Nova Scotia will be offering a fall dose of COVID-19 vaccine to people 12 years and older, beginning with people who are most vulnerable. Starting today, September 15, people aged 65 or older can book their appointment. Appointments will be available starting Monday, September 19.

People who are 18 or older living in long-term care facilities or other congregate living settings, such as shelters or correctional facilities, will be offered a dose in their living setting. 

Appointments for fall doses will be available in the coming weeks to Nova Scotians, based on age, who don’t meet those criteria. 

Nova Scotia has accepted the recommendation of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI) and will offer the Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine to people aged 18 and older.

Public Health recommends that Nova Scotians 18 and older who are eligible for their fall dose receive a dose of bivalent vaccine rather than the original vaccine. It is also recommended that people receive the current Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine when eligible rather than waiting for potential COVID-19 vaccines that have yet to be approved in Canada.

Public Health is also working with African Nova Scotian and First Nations leaders to offer fall vaccine clinics in their communities. 

“We are seeing ongoing virus activity, so it is important that Nova Scotians protect themselves and their loved ones by staying up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “The original vaccines still provide protection against severe disease. However, we know that this protection decreases over time. The bivalent COVID-19 vaccine provides protection against the original strain of COVID-19 and enhanced protection against Omicron variants.”

For most people in Nova Scotia, the recommended interval between any COVID-19 vaccine doses after the primary series is 168 days since their last vaccine. People who have become infected with COVID-19 should wait 168 days from their infection before receiving their next dose of COVID-19 vaccine. 

Some people, such as those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised and people 70 years and older, are eligible for a shortened interval of 120 days from their last vaccine. If these people become infected with COVID-19, they should wait 120 days from their infection before receiving their next dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Appointments can be booked online at https://novascotia.ca/vaccination or by calling 1-833-797-7772. Vaccine scheduling by phone is available Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. People who have not completed their primary series can also book the same way. Vaccines are administered at pharmacies. 

Quick Facts: 
 — Health Canada has authorized Moderna’s bivalent vaccine for use in Canada for people aged 18 and older 
 — the Moderna bivalent vaccine offers protection against the original strain of COVID-19 as well as Omicron variants  
 — pregnant people who have not had a COVID-19 vaccine while pregnant and whose babies are due before November 30 should get an additional dose of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible 

Additional Resources: 
NACI recommendations on bivalent COVID-19 vaccine: https://www.canada.ca/content/dam/phac-aspc/documents/services/immunization/national-advisory-committee-on-immunization-naci/recommendations-use-bivalent-Omicron-containing-mrna-covid-19-vaccines.pdf

Nova Scotia’s COVID-19 Vaccine Plan: https://novascotia.ca/vaccineplan

Source: Release

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