Spirit of giving boosts New Brunswick's COVID-19 vaccination program
FREDERICTON -- It's the season of giving, and for a tuna processing company on Prince Edward Island, offering up two of their ultra-low temperature freezers to New Brunswick to store COVID-19 vaccines was in their nature.
"They're not the typical freezer you can just pick up at the local appliance store," said Jason Tompkins of One Tuna in North Lake, P.E.I.
The New Brunswick government accepted and one is on its way to the province now.
"And we want to thank him very much for that offer," said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard.
That jovial spirit extended through much of the legislature on Friday.
With no new cases of COVID-19 reported in the province,
In addition, Saturday marking the first day of a vaccine clinic that will see 1950 people immunized over the weekend, the mood in the province is upbeat.
"There's a great deal of anticipation, there's a little tiny bit of elation, but it's tempered with knowing that this doesn't put us, you know, at the end of COVID," Shephard said.
The Miramichi Regional Hospital will host the first clinic starting Saturday at 8:30 a.m.
The minister says they will learn from that as they prepare for another clinic in Moncton.
The province now has access to 11 freezers for the vaccine campaign.
Premier Blaine Higgs says he's feeling thankful heading into the holidays, but he is still concerned, too.
"We can't lose it over Christmas," Higgs said. "That is the biggest challenge and my biggest thought right now, is don't put our guard down."
About 12 schools have had cases connected to them, including one this week in Perth Andover.
"Things so far in the school have been good and of course the students there got an extra couple of days added on to their Christmas break," said Education Minister Dominic Cardy. "But so far, public health and the contact-tracing teams have done a superb job and I'm optimistic we'll be able to resolve the cases in Perth Andover the same way we have in all the other schools."
The next shipment of the Pfizer vaccine is expected to arrive in the province some time next week.