New Brunswick says it will vaccinate all residents with at least one dose by July 1

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FREDERICTON — New Brunswick says it hopes to immunize all residents with at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine by Canada Day.

Chief medical officer of health Dr. Jennifer Russell told reporters Friday an increase in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines and new evidence supporting the delay of the second shot is allowing the province to accelerate its plans for vaccinating the population.

"In the weeks ahead, we will make a giant leap forward in our journey to our new normal," Russell said. "We do have a plan to get a dose of protection against the COVID-19 virus into every New Brunswicker between now and Canada Day."

Health officials said they expect all residents in long-term care facilities will have received their first dose of vaccine by Wednesday. Also starting next week, more than 200 pharmacies will be a part of the province's vaccine rollout open to people aged 85 and older.

Other groups will be eligible for vaccinations before the end of March, including rotational workers, commercial truck drivers and commuters who regularly travel across provincial boundaries.

Residents and staff of shelters, homecare workers and people aged 40 to 59 with three or more select chronic conditions will have access to vaccines in April or May. The rest of the population is scheduled to begin getting vaccinated by June.

From April to June, New Brunswick is expected to receive 264,000 doses of Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, health officials said. Shipment amounts for the Moderna and Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines will be known in the coming weeks.

The vaccine news came as New Brunswick reported its 30th COVID-19-related death. Health officials said a person in their 40s in the Moncton area died "as a result of underlying complications, including COVID-19."

The province reported three new infections Friday, all in the Moncton region — one person in their 20s, one in their 30s and one in their 60s. There are 33 active cases, with one person in hospital.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 12, 2021.

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This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship.

The Canadian Press