“Achieving good vaccination rates in the five to 11 (year-old) group is a very important step in moving out of this pandemic,” Dr. Strang said.

Vaccines for NS kids coming December 2

Children between five and 11 years old can soon be vaccinated at a pharmacy or IWK clinic.

Kids in Nova Scotia can get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine beginning Dec 2. The province opened the booking system for child vaccine appointments Nov 26.

“We expect the vaccine to start arriving this week and once we have certainty of delivery, date and time, we will open up appointments,” chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang explained during Wednesday’s COVID briefing. Bookings can be made here.

All children in Nova Scotia between the ages of five and 11 will become eligible for vaccination against COVID-19 at the same time. Strang expects that first doses for the 65,000 kids in this age group can be in arms by Christmas.

“Achieving good vaccination rates in the five to 11 (year-old) group is a very important step in moving out of this pandemic,” Strang said.

Vaccines for kids will be administered at pharmacies province-wide and in a special clinic at the IWK, because the majority of Nova Scotia’s children live in Halifax Regional Municipality. The province is opting against in-school vaccination clinics “for a number of reasons,” Strang said.

“We have a well-proven efficient system of vaccinating large numbers of people through the roughly 250 pharmacies across the province. It provides an opportunity for parents to be with their children,” he said.

As well, the logistics involved in cycling through classes for in-school vaccination is very disruptive, Strang said. Public health will closely monitor vaccine uptake for kids, and if there’s a particular community or region that isn’t accessing COVID-19 vaccine at the same rate, public health will step in and add additional clinic options, Strang said.

Kids in this age group will receive a reduced dose of vaccine compared to the adult dosage. Children who turn 12 between their two doses will get an adult dose for the second shot.

Bookings are now open for third COVID-19 vaccine doses for those eligible, which includes anyone over 70, those who received a double dose of AstraZeneca, and frontline health care workers who had their first two doses in the span of less than than 28 days.

Update on public workers vaccination rate

The province provided new numbers Wednesday for how many staff working in public education, health, home care and long term care are vaccinated. By November 30, employees in these sectors will be placed on unpaid administrative leave if they have not shown proof of vaccination.

The reported vaccine rates range from 99 percent of staff vaccinated at the IWK (with 99 percent reporting) to 93 percent vaccination in day cares (with 84 percent reporting). The lowest vaccine reporting figure to date is in correctional services, where just 68 percent of staff have reported their vaccine status—of them, 99 percent are vaccinated.

click to enlarge “At the end of the day, we’re absolutely convinced that people that work in these sectors must be vaccinated to protect the people they care for,” premier Tim Houston said. - NS COMMUNICATIONS
NS Communications
“At the end of the day, we’re absolutely convinced that people that work in these sectors must be vaccinated to protect the people they care for,” premier Tim Houston said.

“I’m concerned about this group that’s not reporting, I hope the fact that they haven’t reported doesn’t mean that they don’t intend to get vaccinated. But if it does mean that, we will deal with it,” premier Tim Houston said during Wednesday’s COVID briefing.

The premier expects to lose some workers due to the mandate, but says that’s a risk worth taking to prevent the spread of COVID and each affected sector is working on developing plans for potential loss of staff. It won’t be clear how many staff are lost until early December.

“At the end of the day, we’re absolutely convinced that people that work in these sectors must be vaccinated to protect the people they care for,” Houston said.

Vaccination rates by sector
Data as of Nov 23:

-Nova Scotia Health Authority: 95 percent fully vaccinated, four percent partially vaccinated, with 90 percent reporting

-IWK Health Centre: 99 percent, one percent partially vaccinated, with 99 percent reporting

-Long-term care: 95 percent fully vaccinated, three percent partially vaccinated, with 95 percent reporting

-Home care: 95 percent fully vaccinated, four percent partially vaccinated, with 97 percent reporting

-Education: 97 percent fully vaccinated, two percent partially vaccinated, with 90 percent reporting

-Emergency Health Services (EHS): 99 percent fully vaccinated, one percent partially vaccinated, with 92 percent reporting

-Adult day programs: 94 percent fully vaccinated, no employees partially vaccinated, with 97 percent reporting

-Correctional services: 99 percent fully vaccinated, one percent partially vaccinated, with 68 percent reporting

-Community Services (Disability Support Program and Child and Youth Caring Program): 93 percent fully vaccinated, seven percent partially vaccinated, with 96 percent reporting

-Day cares: 93 percent full vaccinated, five percent partially vaccinated, with 84 percent of facilities reporting

-Hearing and Speech NS: 99 percent fully vaccinated, no employees partially vaccinated, with 95 percent reporting

Story updated Nov 26 with vaccine booking information.

About The Author

Lyndsay Armstrong

Lyndsay is a city reporter covering all things Halifax, health and COVID-19. She is a data journalist who has covered provincial politics for allNovaScotia.com and represented Nova Scotia in a national investigation into lead in drinking water with the Toronto Star and Global.

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