No spike in COVID-19 cases so far despite open borders in Maritimes
HALIFAX -- The rollout continues with vaccine going into arms across the Maritime provinces.
"We do here, at this little pharmacy about 300 doses on average per week so we've done about 3,000 so far," said Diane Harpell, owner of the Medicine Shoppe on Baker Drive in Dartmouth.
Although the borders have opened up across Atlantic Canada, there hasn't been a spike in new COVID cases.
"We are really grateful and really feeling positive right now about the effectiveness of the vaccines on our hospitalization rates and our case numbers," said Dr. Jennifer Russell, the Chief Medical Officer of Health for New Brunswick.
"Vaccines reduce both the likelihood of an infected person spreading if they get infected and the likelihood of the person whose unaffected getting a serious infection is much lower if they're vaccinated," said Halifax based Infectious disease specialist and scientist Dr. Lisa Barrett. "Vaccines work on two sides to make us safer and with people coming in from the rest of Canada that's definitely one of the reasons that we're seeing lower cases there, but also less virus coming in and taking hold if you will, in the community."
Despite welcoming tens of thousands of travelers in the last month, there are currently no active cases of COVID-19 in Prince Edward Island.
"Since June 27, we've welcomed over 95,000 travelers to PEI and tested over 28,400 people at the points with a molecular point of care test. Even with this large volume of testing, there have been no confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 at our borders," said Dr. Heather Morrison, the Chief Health Officer for P.E.I.
Although case numbers remain low, health officials are encouraging people to keep getting tested for the virus.
"As long as we keep the testing numbers reasonable and we know there's no COVID out there, that's wonderful and looks good for the summer," said Barrett.
They are also encouraging people to make vaccination a priority.
"We do know from other jurisdictions that people that are infected and require hospitalization are for the most part, those people who are unvaccinated," said Russell.
"It is becoming clearer each day that being fully vaccinated provides excellent protection, although not 100 percent, from serious illness and hospitalization related to COVID-19," said Morrison.