News release

Nova Scotia Resumes Use of AstraZeneca Vaccine

Nova Scotia will resume the use of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine for second doses only, effective today, June 1.

The decision comes after the National Advisory Committee on Immunization updated its guidance on the interchangeability of COVID-19 vaccines approved for use by Health Canada.

Nova Scotians will have more options when it comes to receiving their second dose:

  • anyone who has received a first dose of Pfizer or Moderna can now choose a second dose of either Pfizer or Moderna
  • anyone who has received a first dose of AstraZeneca can now receive a second dose of AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna

“I am pleased we are able to provide some certainty for Nova Scotians who have been waiting on a decision regarding their second dose,” said Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health. “Anyone who has received their first dose of AstraZeneca can now receive their second dose with the AstraZeneca, Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.”

As part of the province’s plan to reduce the second-dose interval, anyone who received a first dose of AstraZeneca vaccine will receive a notice by email to reschedule their second dose appointment. Notices will be issued starting this week and will continue to be sent out over the coming weeks.

The province has about 2,000 doses of AstraZeneca set to expire at the end of the month. If this supply is used and there is more demand for AstraZeneca second doses, the province will request more AstraZeneca vaccine from the federal government.

Quick Facts:

  • about 58,000 Nova Scotians received a first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine
  • the decision to pause the use of AstraZeneca was made on May 12, based on an abundance of caution due to an observed increase in the rare blood clotting condition linked to this vaccine

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