New Brunswickers will find out within days how and when they can start booking appointments to get a COVID-19 vaccine, the Health Department says.
An online booking system will be part of the process for groups vaccinated at regional health authority clinics, the department said in an email.
"Members of those groups will be provided with directions on how to book an appointment," spokesperson Shawn Berry said, noting details will be provided "late this week."
In the meantime, the province's pharmacies are busy preparing for what Berry said will be "an important role" in the rollout.
The vast majority of the province's 232 pharmacies will participate in the rollout, Jake Reid, the New Brunswick Pharmacists' Association executive director, said Tuesday.
Many have already begun asking customers to register to receive general information on the vaccine.
"Asking people to register for information like this reduces the number of calls to pharmacies, which is really helpful to our frontline pharmacists, who are extremely busy right now," Reid said.
However, he said, pharmacies are not booking appointments or administering vaccines yet.
"Please don't telephone your pharmacy to book a COVID vaccine until Public Health announces its rollout plans, which is expected soon."
No change in rules for rotational workers until vaccine
The provincewide shift to the yellow phase of the recovery has some rotational workers asking if self-isolation rules will be relaxed.
The short answer is not yet, but Premier Blaine Higgs said in an interview Tueday that the issue of quarantine will soon become "a moot point."
"As vaccines roll out, we're looking at who can be vaccinated first," Higgs said. "For us, the people who are travelling every day back and forth across the borders become a priority, and that would include rotational workers."
Rotational workers have been calling for a reversal of tighter restrictions rolled out on Jan. 30. The current rules require them to self-isolate for a full 14 days away from others.
Before the changes, they could leave isolation early following a negative test, and stay at home with family.
Rotational workers, truckers and cross-border commuters are in the Phase 2 priority vaccine group, which is currently scheduled to begin in April. That schedule, issued on Feb. 18, was based on availability of vaccines at that time.
Higgs said Tuesday that he's hoping to unveil the updated plan for vaccines later this week.
No new cases reported Wednesday
Public Health reported no new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Wednesday.
The number of confirmed cases during the pandemic is 1,460. Since Tuesday, one person has recovered for a total of 1,396 recoveries. There have been 29 deaths, and the number of active cases is 34.
Three patients are in hospital, and two are in intensive care. A total of 237,627 tests have been conducted, including 835 since Tuesday's report.
What to do if you have a symptom
People concerned they might have COVID-19 symptoms can take a self-assessment test online.
Public Health says symptoms shown by people with COVID-19 have included:
A fever above 38 C.
A new cough or worsening chronic cough.
New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.
In children, symptoms have also included purple markings on the fingers and toes.
People with one of those symptoms should:
Stay at home.
Call Tele-Care 811 or their doctor.
Describe symptoms and travel history.