Nova Scotia

COVID-19 booster shot bookings open Nov. 23 for Nova Scotians aged 70+

More Nova Scotians will soon be eligible for a third dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

Nova Scotians 70+, those who received 2 doses of AstraZeneca, some health-care workers eligible

COVID-19 booster shots are currently available for long-term care residents, immunocompromised people and those who are required to travel for work to places that don't recognize mixed doses of the vaccine. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)

The Nova Scotia government announced Wednesday that more people in the province will be eligible to book their third dose of mRNA COVID-19 vaccine starting Nov. 23.

Those groups, for whom it's been six months since they were fully vaccinated, include:

  • Anyone 70 years of age and older.
  • Those who have received two doses of AstraZeneca vaccine.
  • Frontline health-care workers double-vaccinated with an interval of less than 28 days between their first and second doses. 
  • Designated caregivers of long-term care residents if they received their second dose less than 28 days after their first and at least six months has passed since their primary series of shots.

In a news release Tuesday, the province said booster-dose bookings will also soon be extended to First Nations and African Nova Scotian communities.

There are three groups of people who are currently able to get the third dose:

  • Residents of long-term care facilities. 
  • People who are moderately or severely immunocompromised.
  • People who are required to travel for work to destinations that do not recognize mixed vaccines.

As of Tuesday, the province had administered 8,866 third doses.

Anyone who received their second dose in this group as of June 9 can schedule a booster dose. If the second dose was received after this date, you are not yet eligible to book an appointment for a third dose. 

Those who are eligible for a third dose can book an appointment by phone, at a community drop-in clinic, outreach clinic or pharmacy drop-in clinic.

All health-care workers in Nova Scotia must be fully vaccinated by Nov. 30, but there is currently no requirement for a third dose.

How do people prove they need a 3rd shot for work?

The province is allowing people who need to travel for work to a destination that doesn't recognize mixed vaccines to get a third dose of the vaccine.

Those eligible must:

  • Be residents of Nova Scotia.
  • Provide an official copy of proof of vaccination for each of the doses already received.
  • Provide written confirmation from the employer that the third dose is required to travel to a country as part of the job and the destination doesn't accept a combination of COVID-19 vaccines, and that the travel is either already planned or will be scheduled within 90 days of the request.
  • Provide official confirmation or documentation from the destination of travel that a combination of COVID-19 vaccines doesn't permit entry or requires isolation upon entry.

How do people know if they qualify as immunocompromised? 

According to the province, immunocompromised people include those taking medications that can substantially affect their immune system.

A list of medications and other supporting documentation, such as prescription bottles and insurance notes, can be brought to the vaccine appointment.

If the vaccination clinic cannot confirm if someone meets the criteria for moderate to severe immunocompromise, the third dose won't be administered.

More information on the third dose can be found on the province's website.

Which vaccines will be used for boosters?

Health Canada has authorized Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine (also known as Spikevax) for use as a booster shot.

Earlier in the week, the department approved Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine (Comirnaty) for use as a booster. 

Both are mRNA vaccines.