Over 75 per cent of Nova Scotians have either received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine or have an appointment booked.
Nova Scotia now leads the country in the number of people who have received a first dose.
The province’s Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Robert Strang says this is a milestone worth celebrating but we can’t stop yet.
“Seventy-five per cent of the entire population with at least one dose is our minimum. While we’ve shifted focus to second doses, we still want as many people as possible to get their first dose and then their second. The more people who are fully vaccinated, the better protected we all are from COVID-19 and its variants, especially the Delta variant,” said Strang.
Another 8,000 members of the military will be added to the total to push the province past the 75 per cent mark.
At Monday’s COVID-19 briefing, Dr. Strang said the province could begin lifting mask and social distancing restrictions before the end of summer. At Wednesday’s briefing he said that action is dependent on Nova Scotian’s continued willingness to do what needs to be done to beat back COVID-19.
“We need every eligible person to get both doses of vaccine to help protect us all,” said Strang. “The sooner we do that, the sooner we can lift more restrictions and public health measures.”
Strang acknowledged there are many places who are moving ahead with plans to lift restrictions despite their populations not being fully vaccinated.
He said plans to reopen in the United Kingdom and the United States come with risks of more viral spread, especially the highly contagious Delta variant.
“There is a clear link now between lower COVID vaccination rates and more COVID deaths by state. As Mississippi state health officer says, it is the unvaccinated people who are being diagnosed, who are going to hospital and who are dying. And that’s not a risk we are prepared to take in Nova Scotia,” said Strang. “Our people, our healthcare system and our economy have been through enough so we’ll continue our cautious approach to reopening while we increase our vaccine coverage.”
While Nova Scotia leads in first-dose vaccinations, the province sits in the middle of the pack getting second doses into arms.
Strang reiterated his plea for all Nova Scotians who are able, to get both doses of the vaccine as soon as they can.
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