Health officials in New Brunswick announced Tuesday they will now offer second COVID-19 booster vaccines to anyone older than 18 if it has been five months since one’s last dose.
New Brunswick Public Health says doses will be available at any pharmacy in the province. It will also offer clinics in certain areas to ensure proper vaccine access.
“The number of cases of COVID-19 is increasing and therefore the risk to New Brunswickers is going up,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, New Brunswick’s chief medical officer of health, in a news release.
“Vaccines are our best defence against severe outcomes. Expanding booster eligibility will give people an extra layer of protection.”
It comes on the heels of current virus trends in New Brunswick and across Canada, which indicate that New Brunswick is at the start of another wave, driven by Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5.
“Vaccination is the best way to reduce your risk,” said Russell.
“It is also important to continue to stay home when you are sick, get tested when you are experiencing symptoms and practice good hand hygiene.”
New Brunswickers are encouraged to assess their personal risk for severe illness and hospitalization, including whom they interact with, such as family, friends and coworkers.
Personal risk factors include:
- Being 50 or older
- Being immunocompromised
- Having chronic conditions
- Not being fully vaccinated and boosted, if eligible.
Those with risk factors should consider additional preventive measures, such as:
- Avoiding or limiting time spent in crowded or poorly ventilated indoor places
- Minimizing close contact with anyone who has cold-like symptoms
- Continuing to use a mask, distancing and frequent hand washing