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Nova Scotia to get 1,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Ottawa next week

Dry run exercise this week to test shipping, delivery, tracking and storage

December 8, 2020  The Canadian Press

Nova Scotia will receive 1,950 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for an initial test run next week.

In an emailed statement, Health Department spokeswoman Marla MacInnis says the province will also be participating in a dry run this week with the federal government, Dalhousie University and the vaccine manufacturer.

The exercise is to test shipping, delivery, tracking and storage but will not include actual vaccine.

MacInnis says the idea is to prepare the province in advance of getting its initial allotment next week.

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She says much of the planning for the vaccine remains in the early stages of development, and the department is encouraging Nova Scotians to continue to adhere to public health protocols.

Last week, chief medical officer of health Dr. Robert Strang said that so far, Nova Scotia has one ultralow-temperature freezer to store the vaccine at the tertiary care teaching hospital complex in Halifax.

Strang said the freezer has been validated and cleared and is ready to accept the initial shipment of vaccine from the federal government.

He said the province was also getting another through Ottawa that will operate out of a central depot for vaccines at the public health office in Halifax.

Premier Stephen McNeil also said that the province had identified other freezers in the private sector and was in the process of procuring them.