It’s not easy going green: Maritime vaccination numbers slowly inching towards provincial goals

A handful of new COVID-19 cases were reported in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia on Sunday, as provincial officials continue to push residents to go out and get vaccinated.

There are some concerns that the number of shots might have been on the low side this weekend, but New Brunswick’s top doctor says she’s not worried as the region inches closer to fully reopening.

Only 1,460 people were vaccinated in New Brunswick on Saturday according to the province’s online dashboard, a comparatively low daily total, as 58.1 per cent of New Brunswickers ages 12 and over are now fully vaccinated.

But low weekend vaccination numbers don’t worry New Brunswick’s top doctor.

"Sometimes that can be an under reporting sometimes all the data doesn't get collected until the first of the week,” says Dr. Jennifer Russell, N.B. Chief Medical Officer of Health. “As of right now I could say let's be cautiously optimistic that it's a little bit of an under reporting and if there's any outstanding data that hasn't been entered we'll get that early in the week."

Russell says there's no excuse for people to not get out and get vaccinated,

"We have 64,000 doses coming this week and the week after that we have 76,000 doses coming. The supply is there, there's no shortage and we have 9 pop up clinics coming up this week," says Russell.

COVID-19 numbers rose slightly in the Maritimes today with three new cases reported in Nova Scotia and one in New Brunswick, bringing them to eight and nine active cases respectively.

With New Brunswick’s Green phase target date of August 2 just over two weeks away, New Brunswickers are hoping the vaccination numbers get a shot in the arm.

"I'm not as hopeful as I once was because with cases going up now I think we might be kind of set back," says Tanner Riche.

"I think we will, because I think they planned it really well and everybody is following the rules still. I think we're doing fantastic, I have a positive feeling," adds Fredericton resident Karuna Bhogaraju.

Nova Scotia's most recent numbers, last updated Friday, show 48.4 per cent of residents have received their second dose.

Some are not confident that they'll meet the September goal.

"I think the reason why not is the accessibility this 1-800 number you must call, you're on hold for a long period of time and you're given an appointment and something my come up on that day that you're unable to, like myself, so I think it's an unrealistic goal keeping in mind that we're only looking at 7 or 8 weeks," says Juanita MacNeil.

"I do think it'll happen. I'm actually really optimistic, while I have heard some vaccine hesitancy from you know the community, what I've seen so far the majority of people are taking the vaccine," adds Grace Murphy.

The Maritimes are inching closer to reopening fully, one shot at a time.