Residents of N.B who are at a much lower risk of infection will have to wait another three months for phase tow of dosing, even though the supply of vaccines is set to increase in the following months.
Dorothy Shephard, health minister, and Chief medical officer Dr. Jennifer Russell stated that with variants on the loose and research noting that one dose is protection enough, they plan to give the first jab to many more people by holding off on phase two.
Russell noted that this approach carries with it a number of unknowns, but it the only one that offers them a manageable and acceptable option. This is in line with their objective to maximize the number of those who are getting the first jab.
Although manufactures of Moderna and Pfizer recommend that a second dose be issued within 28 days of dose 1, some regions have had to wait for more than a month to issues as many jabs as they can. Other countries, including the U.K, are stretching the waiting time up to 3 months. Russell stated that this might be the case in N.B for those who are considered at a lower risk of severe infection.
Shephard and Russell referred to studies indicating Moderna and Pfizer offer close to 90 percent protection 14 days following the jab, although they could not offer a scientific basis.
The schedule for the next phase of vaccination was issued the day federal authorities stated that the country would receive an additional 2.8m doses of Pfizer, which are due for delivery in summer.
This accelerated shipment will allow the province to shift up more people who were scheduled for vaccination. Phase one targets frontline workers, along with long-term care facility workers and residents, persons above 85 years, and indigenous communities.
In two months’ time, the vaccination will be extended to people with chronic conditions, health workers not directly in contact with COVID-19 cases, high school as well as post-secondary students in the age range 16 to 24 years.