HALIFAX — Nova Scotia lowered the age of COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to people 25 and up on Thursday and boosted rapid testing in the Sydney, N.S., area to rein in community spread of the novel coronavirus.
The government says there are about 61,400 eligible people in the 25-to-29 age group who can receive the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna mRNA vaccines. Nova Scotia's vaccine rollout grants access in descending order of five-year age groups as supply becomes available.
Chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang has said 40 per cent of the province's population has received one or more doses of vaccine, but he has cautioned the province's "magic number'' is to get 75 per cent of the entire population vaccinated.
Strang has also said all Nova Scotians 12 and up should be able to book a vaccination appointment by next week.
Meanwhile, health officials added a new pop-up rapid test site at Centre 200 — Sydney's downtown arena — until at least Sunday.
Strang said Wednesday that officials had detected community spread in Cape Breton and added that most of the cases have been identified around the Sydney area. The province reported 19 new cases of COVID-19 in the eastern zone, which includes Cape Breton, on Wednesday.
Strang said the outbreak in the area is predominantly among people in their 20s and 30s and that more testing is needed to identify what is driving the rise in infections. He said officials are also looking at adding more pop-up sites around various locations in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 20, 2021.
The Canadian Press