COVID-19 cases drop as vaccines rise in the Maritimes

For the fifth consecutive day, New Brunswick has recorded no new cases of COVID-19 in the province, with the active number dropping down to six.

And it’s a similar story across the Atlantic region.

"We’re reliably in the single digits," says Halifax-based epidemiologist Kevin Wilson.

"A lot of provinces actually routinely report zero cases or one or two cases at a time. There’s not really any ongoing outbreaks to speak of."

Nova Scotia is reporting only one new case of COVID-19 Saturday, a travel-related case in the Western zone with 39 active cases in the province – numbers that health officials say, are a direct result of vaccination efforts.

"What we’re seeing is that the vaccines are doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing," says Executive Director of the New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association Jake Reid.

"They’re working. They’re stopping and slowing the spread of COVID among people and that’s an exciting time."

New Brunswick has begun to hold mobile vaccination clinics throughout the province as a way to boost the number of doses that are being administered. Currently, 79.3 per cent of the population has received a first dose and 49.1 per cent have received their second.

To date, Public Health says that 1,175 people have popped into the pop-up clinics to get their jab since the start of the initiative, a number that doesn’t include the turnout from Saturday’s clinic in Dieppe, N.B.

However, as second doses climb, first doses continue to be slow – a trend that Reid expects we’ll start to see repeat itself when the number of second doses starts to reach the 70 per cent mark.

"We know there’s a population that we still need to access, whether it’s due to vaccine hesitancy, perhaps due to not having enough vaccine competency, we really need to reach that population," says Reid.