N.B. COVID-19 roundup: Some of province's vaccine to be diverted to Northern Canada

·3 min read
Public Health reported five new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Friday.
Public Health reported five new cases of COVID-19 in New Brunswick on Friday.

(Government of New Brunswick - image credit)

Public Health confirmed Friday that some of New Brunswick's pending vaccine shipment will be diverted to Northern Canada.

Earlier Friday, Nova Scotia's chief medical officer of health told a news conference that the federal government will be diverting part of its shipment to Canada's North.

On Friday evening, New Brunswick Public Health communications director Bruce Macfarlane confirmed to CBC News that the same thing will happen in New Brunswick.

Macfarlane could not yet say how many doses will be diverted or when, noting "we just heard about this today."

It is unclear what the diversion of some of the supply will mean for the province's vaccine rollout plans.

At a live-streamed COVID-19 briefing last week, Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said it was difficult to answer questions about vaccine rollout "when the supply is so much in question," but said details would be available "in the coming weeks."

Nova's Scotia's top doctor, meanwhile, said Friday that the province's shipment of Moderna vaccine next week will be reduced by about half, to 3,000 doses from the planned 5,900 doses.

Strang said he also expects the province's March shipment to be reduced.

"While we know this is concerning to hear, we also understand the federal government's rationale," Strang said.

"It is to address the complexities and unique challenges in our northern neighbours. To do that, they need the support and co-operation of all provinces."

Every Monday, New Brunswick Public Health updates its figures for vaccine doses provided to people in the province. The most recent figure is 18,643 for doses administered so far. A total of 5,347 people have been fully vaccinated, the dashboard shows.

Five new cases reported Friday

Public Health reported five new cases of COVID-19 in three zones on Friday.

The department did not hold a live-streamed update today, but in a news release it noted the new cases break down in this way:

Saint John region, Zone 2, one case:

  • an individual 50 to 59

Edmundston region, Zone 4, three cases:

  • an individual 19 or under

  • an individual 40 to 49

  • an individual 80 to 89

Bathurst region, Zone 6, one case:

  • an individual 20 to 29

New Brunswick now has 156 active cases of the respiratory disease, and has seen 1,382 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. Ten people have recovered since Thursday, for a total of 1,203 recoveries.

There have been 22 deaths. Six patients are hospitalized, and two are in intensive care.

A total of 215,879 tests have been conducted, including 1,484 since Thursday'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.

  • Sore throat.

  • Runny nose.

  • Headache.

  • New onset of fatigue, muscle pain, diarrhea, loss of sense of taste or smell.

  • Difficulty breathing.

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.

  • Follow instructions.