Vaccinations 'steady' but far under peak, says pharmacists' association

·2 min read
Some people may have decided it's better to just get COVID, 'and that's very dangerous,
Some people may have decided it's better to just get COVID, 'and that's very dangerous,

Weekly vaccination numbers have fallen precipitously since the peak of New Brunswick's vaccination program, but the province's pharmacists say they've still been steady.

"They're conducting a lot of those second boosters … about 70 per cent of all the COVID-19 vaccinations right now are the second booster," Jake Reid, the head of the New Brunswick Pharmacists' Association, said Monday.

"It's steady. It's not overly busy. It's certainly not like we saw at the peak."

New pandemic data is only released by the province weekly, so it's difficult to get an up-to-date picture of the continued rollout of the province's vaccination program.

But the latest numbers, released last Tuesday, show that in the week of May 15 to May 21, only 975 vaccinations were given in the province.

That included 682 booster doses, 207 second doses and 86 first doses.

This fell well below the province's pandemic peak of 42,000 shots per week.

While 93.2 per cent of eligible New Brunswickers have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, only 52.3 per cent have received a booster dose.

So far, 65.6 per cent of eligible Nova Scotians have received a booster dose.

In Prince Edward Island 82,594 booster doses have been administered in a population of 164,318.

False security and complacency

Reid said the fall in the vaccination rate is something pharmacists have seen after every new phase of vaccination, such as the addition of second doses.

This fall-off is being exacerbated by a couple of issues, Reid said.

One, more people now know someone who has had COVID and that is leading to some false security.

"People under 40 seem to think that, 'I've got friends and they've gotten COVID and it didn't seem like it was that bad. Is it that important to get out and get my vaccination,'" Reid said.

"People have said, 'Maybe it's better if I rip it off like a Band-Aid and I just get COVID at this point,' which is very dangerous."

Reid said the lifting of pandemic restrictions across the country has also led to some complacency.

"People maybe don't feel like they need to be up on their vaccinations, but we know that's not the case," he said.

"This is the number one way we can still protect ourselves and we need to do that."

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