Almost 20 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers fully vaccinated; province reports no new cases of COVID-19 Monday
New Brunswick's COVID-19 dashboard refreshed Monday morning, showing 19.2 per cent of people over 12 in the province are fully vaccinated.
Pharmacies and health authority clinics are busy – and the province's online booking system had a lineup 10,000 people long Monday afternoon.
The vaccine supply is there too – with 185,000 doses of Pfizer and Moderna expected by week's end.
But is it enough to get 75 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers fully vaccinated by New Brunswick Day on Aug. 2?
"It will be tough," says Dr. Jeff Steeves, president of the N.B. Medical Society. "We have to go from 19.2 per cent today, to 75 per cent which is just under 400,000 people. And if you do the math on the 41 days left, we'd have to provide about 9,400 a day, every day, to get to that point."
He says over the weekend, about 2,800 second doses/day were administered. But last week also saw a high of almost 12,000 administered in one day.
"We may not make Aug. 2 but it probably won't be that far after that. And I wouldn't take that as not a victory if we don't make that arbitrary date, we certainly should make Sept. 1 which was the originally thinking a few months ago," he said.
Epidemiologist Kevin Wilson says he doesn't believe convincing people to get their second dose will be as difficult as encouraging more to get their first.
"Probably the hardest part of the vaccine rollout is going to be actually getting first doses to kind of that back 20 per cent of the eligible population," he said. "The groups that are sort of like, not interested at all or more likely they're just on the fence or procrastinating."
As of Monday, 76.4 per cent of N.B. residents over 12 have their first dose of the vaccine.
NO NEW CASES REPORTED MONDAY
Public Health reporting there are no new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Monday.
Two people have recovered since Sunday so the number of active cases drops to 54.
Five people are hospitalized, including two who are in intensive care.
Public Health conducted 407 tests on Sunday, raising the total since the pandemic began to 357,341.
There have been 45 deaths in New Brunswick since the pandemic began.
MORE VISITORS ALLOWED AT LONG-TERM CARE FACILITIES
The number of visitors allowed at long-term care facilities increased to 50 per cent capacity on Monday.
"All COVID-19 safety measures remain in place in facilities, and it is important to continue to follow them to protect vulnerable residents," Public Health wrote in a news release. "Visitors will be provided a medical mask upon entering, they will actively be screened, their contact information will be collected, and they will need to maintain physical distancing during their visit."
Visitors from outside New Brunswick who are allowed in the province under the mandatory order are permitted to enter nursing homes and adult residential facilities, but must follow the same protocols.