Nova Scotia has hit its minimum target of 75 per cent of the population with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, a milestone reached with new data from the military.
Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health, said Wednesday officials are finalizing the addition of 8,000 fully vaccinated Armed Forces members to the provincial database.
The military ran its own vaccine program, Strang said, but those members are Nova Scotians who contribute to the province's overall immunization capacity.
Strang also said he's happy to see that hundreds of people are still lining up to get their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. About 1,400 people rolled up their sleeves for a first dose on Tuesday.
Younger Nova Scotians getting vaccinated
He said younger residents have been stepping up to get the vaccine, though more work needs to be done to match the vaccination rates among older Nova Scotians.
"Those young people are by and large the ones coming forward now for their first dose vaccine, so I thank them for that," Strang said during the COVID-19 briefing alongside Premier Iain Rankin.
1 new case reported Wednesday
The province reported one new case of COVID-19 on Wednesday and six recoveries for a total active caseload of 39.
The new case is in the central zone and is related to travel.
One person is in intensive care in a COVID-19 unit. Nova Scotia health authority labs completed 3,891 tests on Tuesday.
As of Tuesday, 1,035,587 doses of COVID-19 vaccine had been administered. Of those, 322,733 were second doses.
Strang said the province's vaccine booking system has finished inviting all age groups who've already received one dose of the vaccine to move up their appointments for a second shot.
Those who received a first dose on or after July 6 will automatically receive an email to choose a date for their second dose. It can be scheduled a minimum of 28 days after the first dose.
No appointment needed for 55+
As of Wednesday, Strang also said people aged 55 and older can walk into the Halifax Convention Centre without an appointment for their second dose of vaccine.
Nova Scotians are also able to select a different vaccine for their second dose if they want. The province expects more Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine to become available July 25.
Drive-thru clinics in Dartmouth, Truro, New Glasgow and Wolfville can accommodate up to four people in a vehicle for a single booking.
Most recent cases connected to 2 clusters
Strang also addressed concerns of potential community spread after the province announced seven new cases of COVID-19 on Tuesday.
Most recently reported cases have been limited to two clusters, one located in Halifax and the other in Glace Bay, Strang said Wednesday.
However, he said there has been no community spread outside of these clusters, and there is no longer any sign of community spread in the Halifax area.
"That's good news, but we still have COVID around us," Strang said. "We still have some COVID activity in Nova Scotia, we have more people coming in with COVID, so we still need to remain cautious."
Several drop-in testing sites have been scheduled in various parts of the province. You can find that information here. These drop-ins are scheduled from July 6 until July 11.
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