FREDERICTON (GNB) – People 50 and older are now eligible to schedule an appointment for a booster dose of an mRNA vaccine if six months have passed since their second dose.

“Getting a booster shot helps protect those who are most vulnerable,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Older people and others at higher risk of being hospitalized get extra protection when they get the booster. And by others also getting the booster when they become eligible, the virus has less opportunity to take hold. We have seen evidence from other jurisdictions that an individual’s risk of hospitalization can be reduced within seven days of receiving a booster dose.”

Public Health reported today that 82 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 87.5 per cent have received their first dose.

A detailed list of those eligible for a booster dose is available online.

In the coming weeks, eligibility for booster doses will be expanded to those in their 40s, followed by all other New Brunswickers.

Appointments for first and second doses, as well as a booster dose for those eligible, can be scheduled for a regional health authority community COVID-19 vaccination clinic through the online booking system or at a participating pharmacy. Residents of First Nations communities can also book an appointment at a community clinic.

A list of upcoming walk-in clinics is available online.

Limited doses of Janssen vaccine available

A limited amount of the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine is available to eligible New Brunswickers over 18 years of age through a special appointment only.

To schedule an appointment for this vaccine, contact Tele-Services at 1-833-437-1424 or email VNB@gnb.ca. Only one dose of the Janssen vaccine is required to be considered fully immunized.

60 recoveries, 71 new cases

Public Health reported today that 60 people have recovered from COVID-19 and there are 71 new cases of the virus, with the active number of cases at 760.

There are 18 people in intensive care and another 31 are in hospital for a total of 49 people hospitalized. Of those in hospital, 25 are over the age of 60. Eleven people are on a ventilator. There is one person under 19 hospitalized.

A chart was released today showing the COVID-19 hospitalization trends. The seven-day average for hospitalizations is trending down from a week ago, while the number of cases in intensive care units remains roughly the same.

Sixteen of the 49 people hospitalized were initially admitted for other reasons and contracted COVID-19 due to outbreaks at hospitals in Moncton, Saint John and Miramichi. Most of those people infected are currently exhibiting mild to moderate symptoms of COVID-19.

More information about the outbreaks is available on the Horizon Health Network website.

Public Health has confirmed a person 60-69 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region), a person 70-79 in Zone 2 (Saint John region) and a person 80-89 in Zone 2 (Saint John region) have died as a result of COVID-19.

The rate of people hospitalized and in ICU, as well as new cases, continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated. Information about the rates of cases and hospitalizations based on vaccination status is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Level 1 reminder

All of New Brunswick is currently in the Level 1 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19.

More information on the plan is available online.

Regional breakdown of new cases

Enhancements have been made to the COVID-19 dashboard to provide more information. This includes a rolling seven-day average of new cases, and a further breakdown of cases aged 19 and under, reflecting those aged 10-19 and those nine and under. For consistency, these age categories will now be included in the regional breakdown of new cases.

The 13 new cases in Zone 1 (Moncton region) are as follows:

  • four people nine and under;
  • two people 10-19;
  • two people 30-39;
  • a person 40-49; and
  • four people 50-59.

Twelve cases are under investigation and one case is a contact of a previously known case.

The 16 new cases in Zone 2 (Saint John region) are as follows:

  • two people nine and under;
  • two people 10-19;
  • three people 20-29;
  • three people 30-39;
  • three people 40-49;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • two people 70-79.

Ten cases are contacts of previously known cases and six cases are under investigation.

The 30 new cases in Zone 3 (Fredericton region) are as follows:

  • five people nine and under;
  • five people 10-19;
  • seven people 20-29;
  • six people 30-39;
  • two people 40-49;
  • three people 60-69; and
  • two people 70-79.

Twenty-four cases are under investigation and six cases are contacts of previously known cases.

The 12 new cases in Zone 7 (Miramichi region) are as follows:

  • four people 10-19;
  • a person 30-39;
  • a person 40-49;
  • four people 50-59;
  • a person 60-69; and
  • a person 80-89.

Six cases are under investigation and six are contacts of previously known cases.

Additional information is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Confirmed cases in schools and child-care facilities

Information on cases in schools, early learning centres and child care facilities is available on the Healthy and Safe Schools website and the COVID-19 dashboard.

“Our plans have always been designed to keep schools open and students learning safely in person to the greatest extent possible throughout the pandemic,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “Under our outbreak management plans, each individual situation is evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Public Health carries out risk assessments to mitigate risks to the greatest extent possible. If schools must move to at-home learning for safety reasons, we will not hesitate to do so under the advice of Public Health.”

Isolation reminder

Any household in New Brunswick with a positive case of COVID-19 must isolate for 14 days, regardless of vaccination status.

Household members who are fully vaccinated will be able to leave isolation with a day-five negative PCR test. A day-10 PCR test must still be taken to confirm the negative result.

Those who violate the Public Health order to self-isolate face a fine of between $480 and $20,400.

Potential public exposures

Anyone with two or more symptoms of the virus is urged to request a test online to get an appointment.

If you have been at the site of a possible public exposure, but remain asymptomatic, you may be able to pick up a rapid-screening kit (while supplies last).

A map of potential public exposures can also be found on the COVID-19 dashboard.