Nova Scotia still last in full vaccinations, Rankin quietly abandons age-based approach

With Nova Scotia last in the country in fully-vaccinated people, an inefficient system is creating confusion for Nova Scotians trying to book their second shot.

The Rankin government has long promoted an age-based approach, but on Friday earlier appointments were offered to people in their 30s, bumping them well ahead of Nova Scotians in their 70s who booked weeks ago.

“Instead of hosting $500-per-person fundraisers and focusing on an election, the Premier should be focused on the vaccine rollout,” says Karla MacFarlane, PC Health Critic and MLA for Pictou West. “There are going to be lots of Nova Scotians vaccinated before their elderly parents.”

The confusion didn’t stop there.

On Friday the government said those “who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine on or before May 14” were eligible to book a second dose. However, some who met the government's criteria did not receive an email to book, all while invitations were sent to people who received their first dose in late May.

MacFarlane says It goes against what the Premier has been saying for months.

“If you didn’t get an email, you couldn’t book. If you tried to call the phone line, it was busy,” says MacFarlane. “Nova Scotia is last in Canada in full vaccinations. The Rankin government didn’t have a clear plan for second doses, and it’s starting to show.”

As of Sunday the province was tenth out of ten provinces in both vaccine doses administered per 100 people, and in percentage of people fully vaccinated (7.5%). Last week the government announced it had to reconfigure the vaccine booking system.

“Rankin has previously hesitated in accepting vaccines,” says MacFarlane. “He refused to prioritize second doses for nurses in the COVID-19 unit and for people with pre-existing health conditions. It’s a sign of weak leadership.”