A key part of Nova Scotia’s vaccine delivery model will start in early April when public health mobile units start vaccinating at homeless shelters in Halifax.
The province has already launched clinics for health-care workers, long-term care and in the community and starting March 20, clinics in pharmacies and doctor’s offices. Delivering vaccine with mobile units will make the vaccine more accessible to certain groups and is an important part of Nova Scotia’s vaccine rollout.
“We have communities in our province who historically have been difficult to reach or have experienced barriers to accessing health services,” said Premier Iain Rankin. “One of the first vaccine stops for our mobile units will be to immunize people who use, work, or volunteer at homeless shelters.”
The province will begin with seven shelters in Halifax. Working with Nova Scotia Public Health and the Mobile Outreach Street Health team at the North End Community Health Centre, shelters will start vaccinating in early April.
“This is an important milestone in our efforts to bring vaccine to every Nova Scotian,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “People will get their first dose and we will work with the shelters to make sure everyone gets their second dose within four months.”
The mobile unit will help administer vaccine to about 900 people who use, work or volunteer at shelters in Halifax region. The North End Community Health Centre also has a van that they will use to support the vaccination of shelters.
The plan is for the mobile units to help deliver vaccine over the coming months. The mobile units can be outfitted with immunization supplies, have the ability to transport and store vaccine to maintain appropriate temperature conditions for vaccine, and have public health nurses assigned who can support immunization administration. They also have network capabilities that allow public health to document vaccine administration in real time.