New Brunswick pleads with unvaccinated residents to get their first shot; reports three new cases Wednesday

New Brunswick announced Wednesday more than 33 per cent of residents are fully vaccinated, while appealing to the nearly 200,000 who have yet to receive a first dose.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health, says she remains "seriously concerned" about those who have not been vaccinated.

"The COVID-19 virus will continue to circulate and find new hosts. It is this group that face the prospect of ongoing disruption in their lives," Russell said Wednesday.

For example, if a child under the age of 12, who is unable to get a vaccine contracts the virus, parents who are unvaccinated are at greater risk of contracting the disease and transmitting it to the public.

"In that situation, the unvaccinated parent will likely be directed to self isolate away from their family and work colleagues," said Russell.

"If you do remain unvaccinated, you do have more of an inconvenience with respect to having to self isolate, as well as limitations on your ability to travel."

The province is still urging people to book their first or second dose as soon as possible, especially those who are between the ages of 20 to 40, an age segment that has seen some hesitation.

It’s a trend some pharmacists are seeing as well.

"We’re trying to avoid that vaccine hesitancy which we’re seeing in that age group but it's hard to put a finger on it,” said Alistair Bursery, a pharmacist in Fredericton.

“It's odd because the 12 to 17 we've seen a fairly decent response with.”

 However, Russell remains optimistic that the province can reach its target of 75 per cent with doses of vaccine by the beginning of August to coincide with New Brunswick Day.

The number of first doses does continue to increase with 77.8 per cent of residents having received their first shot.

All eligible New Brunswickers can book their second dose appointments if at least 28 days have passed since their first dose.

THREE NEW CASES

Public Health is also reporting three new cases of COVID-19 Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 24.

Russell says this is the lowest number of active cases reported in the province since January.

The two cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

an individual 30-39; and

an individual 50-59.

One case is related to travel and the other case is a contact of a previously confirmed case.

The one case in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) is an individual 40-49. The case is related to travel.

The number of confirmed cases in New Brunswick is 2,332.

Since Wednesday, four people have recovered for a total of 2,262 recoveries.

There have been 45 deaths and four patients are hospitalized in New Brunswick.

On Tuesday, 658 tests were conducted for a total of 362,635.

REMINDER OF YELLOW LEVEL

All zones are in the Yellow level under the province’s mandatory order. New Brunswick is in Phase 2 on the path to Green.