PLEASE NOTE: All appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine are coordinated centrally by the Nova Scotia Department of Health and Wellness and can only be booked online at https://www.novascotia.ca/vaccination or by calling toll-free 1-833-797-7772.
Pharmacies are not able to schedule vaccine appointments or answer questions about when you will be eligible to be vaccinated.
Please visit the provincial COVID-19 vaccine page for more information.
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As the healthcare system responds to COVID-19, the NSCP is actively working with health system stakeholders to ensure that pharmacy practitioners are able to do all they can to meet the public’s health needs and to protect the drug supply for all Nova Scotians. Many of the measures being taken by the NSCP, Public Health and other healthcare system partners at this time are having a significant impact on individuals, however they are being taken for the protection of the public’s health and safety. We are all looking forward to being on the other side of this crisis. Until then, we ask for your patience and cooperation.
The NSCP has ensured that in an event where the physical office is not available, operations are able to continue offsite. On March 15, the provincial government directed organizations and businesses in Nova Scotia to practice social distancing and support staff in working from home if possible. The NSCP took this direction very seriously and is committed to doing its part to keep Nova Scotians safe.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, NSCP staff are working remotely to their full capacity, including:
Nova Scotia Health’s (NSH) Pharmacy Department is launching the COVID-19 Vaccine Pharmacist Consult Service. This consult service will be available from 8:30 am until 4:30 pm, 7 days a week. You can reach this consult service by calling 1-833-768-1151. Please note: if calling outside of the scheduled hours, you will be directed to call the following day.
When calling, pharmacists will be directed to a NSH pharmacist who will:
More information on the consult service can be found here.
COVID-19 Variants and Vaccines (June 23, 2021)
NACI Recommendations on COVID-19 Vaccine Interchangeability (June 21, 2021)
Addressing COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy in Clinical Practice (May 19, 2021)
COVID-19 Vaccines – Delayed Injection Site Reactions (March 11, 2021)
COVID-19 Vaccines – Planning for Immunization Clinics (March 1, 2021)
COVID-19 Vaccines Foundational Webinar (February 23, 2021)
COVID-19 Vaccines – Allergies, Anaphylaxis and LDV Syringe Discussion (February 10, 2021)
COVID-19 Vaccine Foundations for Health Care Providers (December 14, 2020)
COVID-19 Vaccine Tool Kit for Health Care Providers – Updated May 7, 2021
Pharmacies in Nova Scotia Can Now Provide Prescriptions Based on Availability from Manufacturers
The 30-day prescription measure implemented in an effort to prevent drug shortages has been successful in replenishing the supply of a number of medications in Nova Scotia. Pharmacies have been advised that they may begin dispensing prescription quantities as prescribed for medications that have a stable supply. However, as global disruption in the manufacturing and supply of drugs continues to impact Canada, some medications remain in short and unstable supply. For these drugs, pharmacies will continue to dispense a 30-day quantity.
Since March, the NSCP has been working with its national counterparts, including Health Canada, to protect Nova Scotians from medication shortages. The 30-day prescription measure was implemented on the strong recommendation of those who monitor the nation’s drug supply. “We recognize the burden that additional pharmacy costs have on some Nova Scotians and we’ve always been committed to relaxing this measure as soon as it was safe to do so. We’re pleased that the measure is working, and we can now move cautiously in this direction,” said Beverley Zwicker, CEO and Registrar of the NSCP.
The NSCP will continue to carefully monitor the drug supply at provincial and national levels. Zwicker adds, “While the 30-day prescription measure has been successful in limiting drug shortages at this time, we anticipate additional impacts from manufacturing disruptions in China and India which have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. These countries are major suppliers of Canada’s drugs.”
The College is asking for all Nova Scotians’ continued cooperation, including waiting to request refills until they are needed and understanding that reduced quantities may be necessary for some drugs so that no patients go without. “No one in Nova Scotia should be without the medication they need. That’s why this measure was introduced, and that’s why we must continue to consider our individual and collective responsibility in protecting the province’s drug supply during COVID-19. We’re in this together.”
It is important that we recognize the added challenges for those working in the healthcare system during a pandemic like COVID-19. Pharmacy practitioners are ultimately accountable for their actions at all times, including during an outbreak, and they make decisions based on available information, the needs of the patient, their duty to provide care, and their obligation to protect themselves and their families.
The following resources are meant to support the public, pharmacy practitioners and employers in understanding their accountabilities during this time:
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Temporary closure of community pharmacies has the potential to adversely impact patient care and safety. As the role of the pharmacist and the services they provide expands, the significance of temporary pharmacy closures also rises. Pharmacies enter into a contract with patients regarding the provision of their care that includes that the pharmacy will provide the patient with reasonable access to their medication and record when needed and/or requested.
In consideration of the public safety issues associated with temporary pharmacy closures, this policy sets out requirements for pharmacy managers and owners who may need to close the pharmacy temporarily due to the planned absence of a pharmacist or to unplanned events that are outside the control of the pharmacy manager and/or owner.
In December 2019, Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) emerged in the city of Wuhan, China. Since then, there have been reports in several countries, including Canada. On March 11, the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Symptoms of COVID-19 range from mild to severe and can include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, pneumonia and kidney failure. In many cases, clients recover, and in very severe cases, it may cause death.
Please see the following resources for more information about COVID-19:
Government of Canada: Guidance Documents
PLEASE NOTE: The NSCP office is operating remotely until further notice in support of provincial efforts to manage COVID-19.
The NSCP receives a high volume of inquiries and will continue to work hard to respond to each as promptly as possible, typically within two business days. We welcome comments and suggestions about our website. Please email feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org.
800-1801 Hollis Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia
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