Mobile vaccine clinics seeing good turnout: N.B.'s top doctor

People started lining up outside a white tent just off Water Street in Saint Andrews around 7:30 on Thursday morning, looking to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

The mobile – or pop-up - vaccine clinic was one of six this week, a new approach to try to get more New Brunswickers vaccinated.

"The mobile clinics are really designed to help the people that just couldn't quite get to those other locations, for whatever reason," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick's chief medical officer of health, who toured the mobile clinic in Saint Andrews. "They're actually hoping to run out of vaccines at this location."

The clinics are hosted near familiar locations, like bowling alleys, arenas and in Saint Andrews' case – the town's farmer's market.

"It's a place that you can attract people from that popularity perspective in terms of you're at a place that attracts people anyway with respect to the market," she said.

"The fact that you can stop by get some fresh produce and get your second shot, it certainly strategically was the perfect day to do it," said mayor Brad Henderson.  

Almost 300 people turned out to the mobile clinic in Paquetville on Wednesday, and 119 were vaccinated at the Grande-Anse one on Tuesday. Most of those people were receiving their second dose.

"I walked here and I'll walk home and it's right downtown, it's perfect," said Shelley Turner, who got her second dose at the mobile clinic on Thursday.  

"We were scheduled to be in Saint John and … I thought gee, I'm not going to travel to Saint John when I can do it here, so this was actually very convenient," said Carla Carney, who also received a second dose.

The province is trying to encourage more people to get their first dose - 78.9 per cent of the eligible population has their first dose.

That puts New Brunswick behind its Atlantic counterparts, but still ahead of Ontario and the Prairie provinces. But New Brunswickers are quickly getting second doses into arms – 45.4 are now fully vaccinated.