'Take the first vaccine available’: Maritime vaccination rates continue to rise

As travel restrictions relax across Canada, the Maritime provinces are still pushing vaccination and preparing for the next phases of the pandemic.

Vaccination rates in New Brunswick are hurling towards 40 per cent, with 39.6 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are now fully vaccinated and 78.3 per cent of those eligible have received their first dose.

"I think that people need to book the appointment they can get,” said Jake Reid, executive director of the New Brunswick Pharmacy Association. “Take the first available appointment to take whatever vaccine is offered. It’s only the two MRNA vaccines right now the Pfizer vaccine and the Moderna vaccine.”

There was one COVID-19 related death reported in New Brunswick Sunday and one new case related to travel, both in the Fredericton region.

Officials also reported one new recovery, as the active number of cases in the province drops to 21- the lowest number of active cases in the province since November 14, 2020.

The province’s top doctor says the ‘Path to Green’ reopening is still on target for August 2.

"If New Brunswickers step up and meet that challenge, then we will meet those targets and we'll cross that bridge when we get to it,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s Chief Medical Officer of Health. “Certainly the doses are there, the capacity is there… we have lots of RHA clinics and pharmacy appointments available and we're going to be doing some pop up clinics in the province.”

Nova Scotia is reporting three new cases of COVID-19 and two recoveries Sunday, with 53 active cases remaining in that province

Nova Scotia does not update their vaccination numbers on the weekends, but as of Friday’s update, approximately 72.9 per cent of the province's overall population has received at least one dose, with 26.1 per cent of the overall population having received two doses.

"It's important to me because it's protecting not only myself but everyone around me,” said Devin Ashley, who had just received his second vaccine in Halifax. “I'm a teacher and I want to make sure everyone is protected so that we can get back to some normalcy in schools."

As of Monday at 12:01 a.m. Eastern time, exemptions come into effect for some fully vaccinated travellers entering Canada.

Nova Scotia has said it will allow travellers from international locations to enter the province as well, as long as they approved under those federal guidelines.