People 18-49 will be eligible to schedule a booster shot starting next week
EDITOR’S NOTE: There will be no COVID-19 news release on Jan. 8-9. Updated data on vaccination rates, hospitalizations, case numbers and certain other information will be available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
FREDERICTON (GNB) – New Brunswickers 18 and older will be eligible to schedule an appointment for a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine beginning on Monday, Jan. 10, as long as five months has passed since their second dose.
“This is an important step forward in protecting New Brunswickers from the impact of the Omicron variant of COVID-19,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “I encourage everyone eligible to book an appointment through a regional health authority clinic or through a participating pharmacy.”
“The COVID-19 vaccine booster is safe for women who are pregnant and should be received as soon as possible,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “Getting the booster can protect you from severe illness and a healthy, protected mom is important for a healthy baby.”
Those eligible will be offered Moderna at booster clinics, regardless of which vaccine they received for previous doses. The limited supply of Pfizer booster doses is being reserved for people 12-29 because there is evidence that the risk of myocarditis/pericarditis for this age group is decreased with the Pfizer vaccine as opposed to Moderna. The risk posed by the Moderna vaccine is less for those 30 and older.
“Do not wait for a preferred brand because it will not be available to you for several months,” said Russell. “What matters right now is that everyone gets a booster as soon as possible. Moderna is a safe and effective vaccine, and as the number of COVID-19 cases rise due to the Omicron variant, it becomes increasingly important for people to get their booster of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Registration now required for rapid-test kits
People with COVID-19 symptoms are required to register online for a PCR test or rapid test under the provincial government’s new testing strategy.
By completing the online form, people can determine which type of test they are eligible to receive.
Those with symptoms, and who are aged two to 49 and otherwise healthy will be advised to take a rapid test. After registering their information, people can book an appointment to pick up a rapid-test kit at a hub or mobile-site location. Anyone picking up rapid tests must present an email confirmation of their appointment.
PCR tests are reserved for people at the highest risk of being hospitalized due to COVID-19. These include:
- Health-care workers and those who live or work in long-term care facilities, homeless shelters and correctional facilities.
- People who are symptomatic and aged 50 and over.
- People who are symptomatic and immunocompromised.
- People who are symptomatic and pregnant.
- People who are identified as a priority by Public Health.
People who need a PCR test for travel, residents of First Nations communities and children under two are also eligible to receive a PCR test.
People who are isolating because of their symptoms are permitted to leave isolation to attend a test appointment.
Hospitalizations and case numbers
Public Health reported there are 17 people in intensive care and another 52 in hospital for a total of 69 people hospitalized. Of those in hospital, 50 are over 60 and 14 people are on a ventilator. Two people 19 and under are hospitalized. Hundreds of health-care workers across the province continue to isolate at home due to the virus. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
The rate of people hospitalized and in ICU continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated. Information about the rates of cases and hospitalizations based on vaccination status, the age and origin of new cases, and additional information, is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.
Based upon information available from PCR tests, Public Health is reporting 548 recoveries and 840 new cases of COVID-19 today. Effective Saturday, Jan. 8, PCR-confirmed test numbers and other data updates will be available only on the dashboard and will not be included in future news releases.
Of the new reported cases, 220 are in Zone 1 (Moncton region), 270 are in Zone 2 (Saint John region),108 are in Zone 3 (Fredericton region), 53 are in Zone 4 (Edmundston region), 26 are in Zone 5 (Campbellton region), 115 are in Zone 6 (Bathurst region) and 48 are in Zone 7 (Miramichi region).
One person has died as a result of COVID-19. A person 90 plus in Zone 1 (Moncton region).
As of today, 83.1 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, 90.6 per cent have received their first dose of a vaccine and 23.6 per cent have received a booster dose.
All of New Brunswick is in the Level 2 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19. More information on the COVID-19 alert system, including guidance on public health measures, restrictions and the mandatory order, is available online.
Other useful links:
- Information about COVID-19 vaccines (including booking first, second or booster doses)
- Information on getting tested (PCR or rapid tests, including pickup locations)
- Healthy and Safe Schools website (including information on cases in schools and daycares)
- Information and guidelines on isolation
- Information and resources to help New Brunswickers live with COVID-19
- Travel information (including the Travel Registration Program)