N.B. officials say under 1,400 first doses still needed to loosen restrictions: report one new case Monday

New Brunswick is reporting one new COVID-19 case and eight recoveries on Monday, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 90.

The new case was identified in the Bathurst region (Zone 6), involving an individual in their 50s, and is a close contact of a previously reported case.

'DRIVE TO 75' INCHES CLOSER

New Brunswick public health says 1,345 New Brunswickers still need to receive their first vaccine dose in order for the province to begin loosening restrictions, under the province’s Path to Green reopening plan.

Public Health says as of Monday, 74.8 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older have now received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are on the cusp on moving to phase one of the Path to Green,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, N.B. chief medical officer of health, in a release. “Please book your appointments to get your first dose of the vaccine and we will all be able to enjoy summer with our friends and families.”

New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.

As of Monday, 596,413 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Brunswick.

Anyone eligible for a vaccine who has not already received their first dose can book an appointment online through a Vitalité or Horizon Health Network clinic or by contacting a participating pharmacy.

SECOND DOSE ELIGIBLITY MOVED UP

Beginning Monday, any New Brunswickers who received their first dose of a vaccine prior to May 1 can book an appointment for their second dose through a participating pharmacy or at a Vitalité or Horizon health network clinic.

On June 21, eligibility for second-dose vaccinations will be extended to everyone, as long as at least 28 days has passed since their first dose.

“Someone who received an mRNA vaccine as a first dose does not need to book the same product for a second dose,” said Russell. “If you received Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech, you can book an appointment for either vaccine for your second dose. They work the same way and have similar levels of safety and effectiveness. Like many medications you may take, when the active ingredient is the same, they work the same way. This approach will help New Brunswickers access their second dose as soon as possible.”

N.B. officials recommend that anyone under the age of 55 who received the AstraZeneca vaccine for their first dose, you receive an mRNA vaccine (Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech) as their second dose, unless contraindicated. Anyone 55 or older can receive a second dose of AstraZeneca or of an mRNA vaccine.

To receive their second vaccine dose, New Brunswickers are asked to bring a signed consent form, their Medicare card and a copy of the record of immunization provided after receiving their first dose. If possible, residents are asked to book an appointment at the same pharmacy or clinic at which they received their first dose.

Appointments for people who have not yet received their first dose will continue to be available to eligible New Brunswickers at regional health authority clinics and through participating pharmacies.

13 PER CENT OF INDIVIDUALS OVER 65 HAVE RECEIVED SECOND DOSE

Dr. Jennifer Russell says she had to stop predicting when the province would reach its 75 per cent target.

“I thought we were going to get there Saturday. I thought we were going to get there Sunday. I thought we were going to get there today,” she said. “I’ve given up on predicting.”

Fredericton resident Luke Robertson wonders what’s stopping the 25+ per cent of eligible New Brunswickers from getting the vaccine, and he hopes public health is working on finding that out.

“We need information on the full picture about why people are or are not getting vaccines so that we can better target the concerns people might have,” he said in an interview with CTV Atlantic.

Dr. Russell says public health is hearing a number of reasons – and are trying to come up with ways help.

“One being convenience. Some people just work crazy hours and are quite busy and so for some people the walk-in option is really the only way they were going to get vaccinated,” she said. “For some people the barrier is transportation. So, if you have friends or family or community members who need a ride, please offer to give them a ride.”

She also said they understand some people have trouble with technology and booking online – or have a fear of needles.

“I mean people have to be comfortable with it or not and the only thing we can offer in terms of trying to address that particular issue and need is that in the RHA clinics there’s a private space where you can get vaccinated without being exposed to all the other people there,” she said. “If you’re a fainter, or whatever, there is that option as well.”

Russell acknowledges there’s other people who need more time to get answers to their concerns or questions about the vaccine.

She says she is pleased with how the second dose rollout is going. One Fredericton pharmacy administered 300 second doses in one day last week.

The second phase is scheduled for July 1, so long as 20 per cent of those 65 years and older have their second dose.

Russell says as of Monday, 13 per cent have.

“I don’t think we’re going to have any trouble reaching that milestone,” she said.

OUTBREAK DECLARED AT ZONE 1 NURSING HOME

New Brunswick Public Health has declared an outbreak over at Villa Maria, a nursing home in Saint-Louis de Kent in the Moncton region (Zone 1).

Public health says members of the Provincial Rapid Outbreak Management Team had been on site providing support for residents and the facility’s care team.

N.B. COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 2,299 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 2,163 people have recovered, and 45 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Seven people are currently in hospital with COVID-19 in total, Of those, six patients are hospitalized in New Brunswick, including two in an intensive care unit. One person is hospitalized outside of the province, in an intensive care unit.

Public health says 620 tests were completed on Sunday in New Brunswick, and 351,388 total since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 474 confirmed cases (19 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 295 confirmed cases (no active case)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 427 confirmed cases (41 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 752 confirmed cases (one active case)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 185 confirmed cases (no active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 127 confirmed cases (28 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 39 confirmed cases (one active case)

YELLOW LEVEL REMINDER

All of New Brunswick remains under the Yellow level of recovery under the province’s order.