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Wait time between COVID-19 vaccines reduced for high-risk people in spring rollout

By Jacob Moore Mar 18, 2024 | 2:57 PM

Nova Scotia will roll out a spring dose of the COVID-19 vaccine for people at the highest risk for severe illness from the virus.

The dose will be available from March 25 to May 31, and people who had a vaccine recently can get this dose sooner than usual, according to a news release from the provincial government.

The government says that, although people should wait six months after their last COVID-19 vaccination or infection before getting a dose, people can access the spring dose, which will be available for high-risk people, after “a shorter interval of at least three months.”

Eligible high-risk people include:

  • people 65 years of age or older
  • people 18 years of age or older who live in long-term care, nursing homes, senior congregate living settings or residential are facilities
  • people six months old or older who qualify as moderately to severely immunocompromised due to an underlying condition or treatment
  • people who identify as Black, African Nova Scotian or First Nations and are age 50 or older

Both the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 XBB.1.5 vaccines are available. The government says they are safe and effective.

“Nova Scotians should choose the first available appointment rather than waiting for a specific brand of vaccine,” the government writes in the release.

People can book appointments online here. If people are unable to book online, they can schedule an appointment by calling 1-833-797-7772. The phone line operates seven days a week.

Dr. Robert Strang, chief medical officer of health for Nova Scotia, says release that COVID-19 cases are steady across the province.

“It remains important that those who are at highest risk of infection get their spring dose to prevent severe illness,” Strang says in the news release.

Strang adds that people may be ineligible for the spring dose because their vaccinations are up to date, but they “are still well protected.”

If people did not receive a vaccine in the fall or winter, they can still get one even if they do not qualify for this specific spring vaccine program, the government says.