Nova Scotia

Vaccinations of N.S. Grade 7 students still happening despite COVID-19 pandemic

Nova Scotia public health is urging Grade 7 students to get vaccinated. It has scheduled 65 clinics across the province in July and August with the goal of vaccinating 9,200 Grade 7 students who missed their shots in April because of COVID-19.

Nova Scotia public health is aiming to vaccinate 9,200 students who missed shots in April

A student gets his vaccine shot at the vaccination clinic at Bicentennial School in Dartmouth, N.S., on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

Nova Scotia public health is urging Grade 7 students to get vaccinated.

It scheduled 65 clinics across the province in July and August with the goal of vaccinating 9,200 Grade 7 students who missed their shots in April because of COVID-19.

"We're very optimistic, we hope that we're going to get great numbers. We're hoping to get at least 70 per cent immunized and if we don't we'll go back to the drawing board," Cara-Leah Hmidan, the public health manager for the Nova Scotia Health Authority's central zone, told CBC Nova Scotia News at 6 in an interview on Tuesday.

According to the health authority, the four immunizations given in Grade 7 school clinics cover hepatitis B, HPV, meningococcal disease and tetanus, diphtheria and acellular pertussis.

Hmidan said the health authority is doing comprehensive COVID-19 screening on each student before they enter the clinic. As of Tuesday, 1,700 appointments have been booked.

Hmidan said she thinks the pandemic is motivating parents to schedule appointments.

The four immunizations given in Grade 7 school clinics cover hepatitis B, HPV, meningococcal disease and tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis. (Craig Paisley/CBC)

"They're very concerned. They want to make sure that their children are vaccinated," she said.

Hmidan said students will be screened for COVID-19 ahead of time.

She said if a student has any symptoms, the student will be separated from the others and a nurse in full protective gear will determine if the student is eligible for immunization.

"We have all our folks helping us at all points in the clinic because we are doing very comprehensive COVID-19 screening before a student enters our clinic," she said.

Parents looking to schedule vaccinations for their children should call their local public health office.

CBC Nova Scotia News at 6 and Elizabeth Chiu

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