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Nova Scotia's slowing vax uptake hurts national rank

After going from worst in Canada to first, NS is back down to fourth place for vaccination rate.

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Newfoundland and Labrador has Canada's best vaccination rate, at 74.3 percent of its population having at least one dose of vaccine. Nunavut, meanwhile, has the lowest rate in the country, with 54.4 percent vaccinated with at least one dose. These numbers are the latest from the federal government, released on Friday, July 9, for vaccinations through Saturday, July 3. (Yes, this means they are already a week out of date, but that's apparently the best the feds can do for definitive stats.)

Newfoundland was also on top last week—the Saturday, June 26 federal numbers—at 72.8 percent vaccinated. But the week before that, June 19, Nova Scotia lead the country with 70.2 percent of its population having at least one dose.

Nova Scotia's moment at the top capped a remarkable comeback, because the province spent the first few months of Canada's vaccine rollout with the absolute worst vaccination rates in the country. Click play on our following animated vaccination rate tracker to see how the provinces and territories have ranked over time.

So what happened to NS in the last couple weeks? Hundreds of thousands of vaccines have been injected, but most of them went to people who already had their first dose. This has done wonders for Nova Scotia's rate of population that is fully vaccinated with two doses, while stalling the advance of vaccine penetration into the population. (The Coast's chart of Nova Scotia's vaccination rate is at the bottom of this story.) From June 26 to July 3 in the federal numbers, Nova Scotia had the country's smallest increase in at-least-one-dose-vaccinated population, increasing by just one half of a percentage point in that week.

Nova Scotia needs to reach 75 percent vaccinated with at least one dose before moving to Phase 4 of reopening. Last week, chief medical officer of health Robert Strang said the province is already there, between people who have booked their first dose and thousands of military personnel whose vaccinations haven't been counted yet on Nova Scotia's official COVID dashboard. Right now, however, that dashboard says the vaccination rate is 73.7 percent; Nova Scotia has been stuck at 73-point-something percent since last Sunday, July 4.

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