HALIFAX -- One day after New Brunswick had to delay entering phase one of their reopening plan, health officials in that province say vaccination progress is being made.

In a news release Tuesday afternoon, public health said 70.8 per cent of New Brunswickers over the age of 12 have now received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine.

This means 28,812 people still need to receive their first dose in order to reach the province's goal of 75 per cent of the population vaccinated, which is necessary in order to begin loosening pandemic restrictions under the province's Path to Green.

“We are thankful to everyone who has received their first dose and for those that continue to encourage people to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Even if you have been vaccinated, you can still help. If you know someone who doesn’t drive, offer them a lift and if they are unable to book an appointment online themselves, offer to help. We have made tremendous progress, let’s continue the drive to 75.”

Anyone eligible for a vaccine who has not already received their first dose can book an appointment online through a Vitalité or Horizon Health Network clinic or by contacting a participating pharmacy.

TEAM CREATED TO BRING VACCINES TO COMMUNITIES

Premier Blaine Higgs said, in hindsight, he wishes a date hadn’t been set to reach the 75 per cent, "because the focus is not the date, the focus is on the 75 per cent."

He said there is a team working on bringing the vaccines to people.

“We’ve kind of put a team together to find ways that we can move into difference communities, maybe with a refrigerator truck,” he said. “I know there’s a big line-up at Parlee Beach. If we were there with vaccines and an ice cream, we’d probably get people signed up on the way into the beach.”

But there is interest in booking second doses, after the province announced the go-ahead on Monday.

Pharmacist Alistair Bursey says the phones at his Fredericton pharmacy are constantly ringing.

“There’s been a tremendous reaction,” he said. “We’ve got probably close to 600 patients booked for the next couple days already. Everyone is very enthusiastic to get their second dose. I think a lot of people are as excited to get closer and closer to opening and getting things back to normal.”

Health Minister Dorothy Shephard confirmed over 10,000 people booked an appointment on Monday – that includes first and second doses.

ONE NEW CASE

New Brunswick is reporting one new case of COVID-19 on Tuesday.

The new case involves an individual in their 70s who is in the province's Bathurst region (Zone 6). Public health says the case is a close contact to a previously reported case.

Thirteen previously reported COVID-19 cases are now considered resolved, with the total number of active cases dropping to 99 – the lowest number of active cases New Brunswick has seen since March 26.

N.B. COVID-19 CASE DATA

New Brunswick has had 2,267 cumulative cases of COVID-19 since the start of the pandemic.

In total, 2,123 people have recovered, and 44 people have died in the province from COVID-19.

Four people are currently in hospital with COVID-19 in total, Of those, three patients are hospitalized in New Brunswick, including one in an intensive care unit. One person is hospitalized outside of the province in an intensive care unit.

Public health says 1,384 tests were completed on Monday in New Brunswick, and 345,313 total since the start of the pandemic.

The number of cases are broken down by New Brunswick’s seven health zones:

  • Zone 1 – Moncton region: 471 confirmed cases (31 active cases)
  • Zone 2 – Saint John region: 295 confirmed cases (3 active cases)
  • Zone 3 – Fredericton region: 412 confirmed cases (41 active cases)
  • Zone 4 – Edmundston region: 751 confirmed cases (no active cases)
  • Zone 5 – Campbellton region: 185 confirmed cases (no active cases)
  • Zone 6 – Bathurst region: 115 confirmed cases (23 active cases)
  • Zone 7 – Miramichi region: 38 confirmed cases (1 active case)

New Brunswick also reported multiple potential COVID-19 exposures on Tuesday. A full list of possible exposures to the virus can be found on their website.

VACCINE UPDATE

New Brunswick's COVID-19 online dashboard provides an update on the amount of vaccines that have been administered to date.

As of Tuesday, 539,591 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in New Brunswick.

SECOND DOSE APPOINTMENTS OPEN

New Brunswickers who received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine before April 1 can now book an appointment for their second dose.

On June 14, eligibility for second doses will expand further to include anyone who received their first dose during the month of April

YELLOW LEVEL REMINDER

All of New Brunswick remains under the Yellow level of recovery under the province’s order.