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N.B. to offer booster shots to seniors in nursing homes; reports 84 new COVID-19 cases and one death

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HALIFAX -

New Brunswick announced Wednesday that it will start providing a booster shot of mRNA COVID-19 vaccines to nursing home residents.

Dr. Jennifer Russell, the province's chief medical officer of health, says the decision follows new advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization (NACI).

"The evidence shows that, for most of us, two doses of COVID-19 vaccine provides good protection against the harmful effects of the virus, and the need to be hospitalized," Russell said. "It is clear that some people will need a booster shot."

Starting in October, public health will provide a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine to seniors living in long-term care homes and other communal settings who have already received two doses of a vaccine.

"Our plan is to administer the booster dose along with our annual flu vaccine campaign," said Russell. "New advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization makes it possible for us to provide both vaccines at the same time."

Public Health says the recommended interval for a booster dose of mRNA vaccine is at least four weeks after the second dose.

The province announced last week that it is providing third doses of mRNA vaccines to people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised due to a medical condition or treatment. A complete list of medical conditions and treatments that would result in a person being recommended to receive a third dose is available online.

New Brunswick also reported 84 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday and one death, raising the number of deaths since the pandemic began to 57.

The person who died is in their 90s and lives in Zone 1 (the Moncton region.) Their death comes one day after two people in their 80s died.

"They are people with lives and families who loved, and were loved," said Russell. "They were our fellow New Brunswickers. Each of the 57 deaths we have seen has diminished our province. My heart goes out to the families of these new Brunswickers in their time and your loss is felt by everyone in the province."

As of Wednesday, there are 40 New Brunswickers in hospital due to COVID-19 with 16 of those patients currently in an intensive care unit.

"Our hospitals are coping with the influx of COVID-19 patients, but our health care system is under strain," Russell said.

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