Frequently Asked Questions:

COVID-19 Vaccines

Having safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available is important to help with the long-term management of COVID-19.


Information for health and allied health professionals

COVID-19 vaccine information for physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other health care providers including: training, guidance and printable resources.

Resources for health professionals

Rollout of immunizations

What is new with this vaccination plan?

The biggest change is that our vaccine timetable has been moved up due to more vaccine supply from the federal government. Any New Brunswicker who wants a vaccine will be able to get a first dose by the end of June.

 

Who is currently eligible to book an appointment at a pharmacy and how do we book it?

At this time:

  • people aged 70 and older (including people who are turning 70 before the end of this year)
  • and rotational workers; truckers; and regular commuters from New Brunswick who regularly cross the border

can now book an appointment through a pharmacist for vaccination against COVID-19. 

More than 200 pharmacies in New Brunswick are participating. To book an appointment, contact a local pharmacy in your area. If you are required to self-isolate, indicate that at the time you book your appointment.

 

Who is currently eligible to book an appointment through a clinic hosted by the Horizon and Vitalité regional health authorities and how do we book it?

At this time:

  • Individuals aged 70 and older (including those who are turning 70 before the end of this year)
  • Individuals with complex medical conditions (Before booking an appointment, you must review the list of complex medical conditions. At the time of your appointment you must present this signed declaration.) (If you cannot print the declaration form, one will be available at the appointment to complete before you can receive a vaccine.)
  • Individuals aged 40 or older with three or more select chronic conditions
    (Before booking an appointment you must review the list of select chronic medical conditions. At the time of your appointment you must present this signed declaration.) (If you cannot print the declaration form, one will be available at the appointment to complete before you can receive a vaccine.)
  • First Nations (16 and older)
  • First responders
  • Health-care workers and Health system staff (regulated allied health care professionals)
  • Rotational workers; truckers; and regular commuters from New Brunswick who regularly cross the border

can now book an appointment through www.gnb.ca/bookavaccine for vaccination against COVID-19.

Other groups including:

  • First responders
  • Health-care workers and Health system staff (regulated allied health care professionals)
  • People who work in high schools

have been provided with a priority code through their employer or professional association.

 

 

What should I do if my group is not currently listed as eligible to book an appointment?

An announcement will be made when other priority groups and age groups are eligible to book an appointment for a vaccine. Until then, please remain patient: Don’t call 811. Don’t call your doctor, or nurse or pharmacist. Calling those professionals ties up resources.

 

Can I get vaccinated after my group has passed?

Once you become eligible, you are always eligible. If for some reason you are unable to get the vaccine at the time you first become eligible, you can book an appointment for it at any time thereafter.

 

What progress have we seen on New Brunswick’s vaccination plan so far? 

As of April 2, more than 100,000 people in New Brunswick had been vaccinated with at least one dose.

On March 17 we completed first-dose clinics for every licensed long-term care home in the province. On March 19, we completed first-dose clinics in every First Nation in the province.

To date we have delivered vaccine to hundreds of locations in communities large and small across the province. Every dose available is being assigned to clinics, including those being held through pharmacies and those being held by Horizon and Vitalité regional health authorities. With the announcement of the new sequencing plan and the involvement of pharmacies and RHAs, we will see major increases in the number of people being vaccinated.

 

Do I need to go to the same clinic for both doses?

No, but at the time you make your appointment for the first dose, you will be offered an appointment for your second dose, about 14 weeks later.

 

Will everyone get vaccinated at a pharmacy?

Pharmacies are an important partner. Regional Health Authorities will also play an important role by holding immunization clinics for some priority groups and age groups. 

The first immunization clinics by Regional Health Authorities are for priority groups that are not age-based.

Doctors who want to offer vaccinations at their offices are expected to play a larger role once more vaccines become available that have less stringent storage and handling requirements. The exact timing of this will depend on vaccine supply and availability, but likely will begin in late spring.

 

What groups will book an appointment next at a pharmacy?

Booking for these groups has not yet begun. Once those aged 70-plus have been offered the vaccine, we intend to proceed with the 65-plus age group followed by 60-plus. 

 

Can someone book an appointment for me?

Only one person should make an appointment on behalf of an eligible individual. Either the individual or appointed caregiver should make an appointment. Only make an appointment at one clinic, not multiple locations. 

 

Can I get vaccinated at my doctor’s office?

Not at this time. In the immediate term, doctors will be assisting with clinics held by Regional Health Authorities.

 

How do truckers, rotational workers and regular commuters prove their eligibility?

Rotational workers, truckers and regular commuters (individuals who frequently cross the border for work or post-secondary education without an overnight stay, and who return to New Brunswick each time) are now eligible to book an appointment.

To demonstrate eligibility to receive the vaccine:

  • Truckers can use their Class 1 licence;
  • Rotational workers can use their Travel Registration confirmation;
  • Regular cross-border commuters can use their multi-use travel registration through the New Brunswick Travel Registration Program. Regular cross-border commuters are individuals who frequently cross the border for work or post-secondary education without an overnight stay, and who return to New Brunswick.

Rotational workers are permitted under direction of the Chief Medical Officer of Health to leave self-isolation to obtain their vaccine, but must return directly home and complete their self-isolation period. For more information for rotational workers on self-isolation consult this document.



Rotational workers who work outside of Canada must follow federal isolation and testing requirements in the Quarantine Act in addition to these guidelines.

 

How do people with complex medical conditions prove eligibility?

Before booking an appointment, you must review the list of complex medical conditions. At the time of your appointment you must present this signed declaration. (If you cannot print the declaration form, one will be available at the appointment to complete before you can receive a vaccine.) If you are eligible, visit www.gnb.ca/bookavaccine

 

How do people aged 40 or older with three or more select chronic medical conditions prove eligibility?

Individuals aged 40 or older with three or more select chronic conditions can begin booking appointments for the month of April.

 (Before booking an appointment you must review the list of select chronic medical conditions. At the time of your appointment you must present this signed declaration.) (If you cannot print the declaration form, one will be available at the appointment to complete before you can receive a vaccine.)

Please note that this category is now open to anyone over 40 with three or more chronic conditions.

 

 

Why are you taking this approach for immunizations?

New Brunswick is facing multiple threats including variants with high levels of transmissibility, outbreaks focused on long-term care facilities and an uncertain vaccine supply that has yet to be confirmed.

Our goal is to offer an increased level of protection to as many people as possible with the first dose of vaccine and on schedule two dose series to those that are at highest risk of severe disease and death. More evidence will emerge from studies and other areas of the country and the world, and we will be watching and adjusting as we go along. If more or new vaccines become available we will readjust. NB is fully committed to a two-dose regimen.

This protects the health and wellness of New Brunswickers and also minimizes the impact of outbreaks on institutions like long-term care facilities and hospitals.

 

Why consider delaying the second dose?

We feel that this option will do the most to protect the most people across our province. It protects our most vulnerable and will help us maintain and continue health care services for all. Disruptions from COVID-19 impact the provision of all health services, even those not related to dealing with the virus. New Brunswick is fully committed to a two-dose regimen. A two-dose vaccination series remains important to provide long term protection.

 

Will everyone be offered a second dose, and will it be from the same product?

Yes. While we are planning to extend dose intervals past 42 days in order to maximize first doses, we will be offering a second dose to everyone who receives their first dose. They will be offered a second dose of the same vaccine they received for their first dose. NB is fully committed to a two-dose regimen. A two-dose vaccination series remains important to provide long term protection.

 

Could there be changes to the timing of vaccinations for some groups?

The timeline for New Brunswick’s COVID-19 vaccination plan may change based on vaccine availability. In the case of shortages of vaccine, some timelines may need to be pushed back. In the case of additional availability or the approval of additional vaccine(s), some groups may be moved up in priority.

 

Do I need to continue following public health guidelines after I have been vaccinated?

The National Advisory committee on Immunization (NACI) recommends that everyone should continue to practice recommended public health measures for prevention and control of SARS-CoV-2 infection and transmission regardless of vaccination with COVID-19 vaccine, at this time.

Individuals who get the vaccine must continue to follow the recommendations of public health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including wearing a mask, staying at least two metres from others and limiting avoiding contact with others outside their bubble.

General information

What is vaccination and why do I need the COVID-19 vaccine?

Vaccination is a simple, safe, and effective way of protecting people by building a person’s immune system to viruses. Public vaccination programs have saved lives and prevented infections in Canada and around the world for decades. 

The COVID-19 vaccine prevents infection and decreases the severity of infection.

Getting vaccinated protects you, the people you love and others around you, particularly people at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

Vaccines help lower your risk of infection by working with the body’s natural defenses to develop immunity to disease.

Some diseases that New Brunswickers have been inoculated against – like Polio – have disappeared from our province. Others – like rubella and diphtheria – are now rarely seen because of long-term high rates of vaccination in the population.

  

How does Health Canada review vaccines?

Before any vaccine is given in Canada, Health Canada must approve it. Health Canada has a rigorous scientific review system in place to ensure vaccines are safe and effective in preventing the diseases they identify. Health Canada authorizes the vaccine only after an independent and thorough scientific review for safety, effectiveness and quality.

In addition to the scientific review, there is also a reporting system in New Brunswick which monitors vaccine safety on an ongoing basis.

Even after vaccines are authorized for use, their safety and effectiveness are regularly monitored. The safety and effectiveness of vaccines are also checked by Health Canada scientists; outside experts like university researchers and the Public Health Agency of Canada and Public Health New Brunswick.

When it comes to the COVID-19 vaccines, we know that in addition to the work in Canada, they are being approved through separate – but equally rigorous – processes in other countries.

 

Does the vaccine prevent people carrying or transmitting the virus?

Because these are new vaccines, this is still being determined. We will be carefully watching the studies to determine the extent to which vaccination prevents people from getting the virus without getting sick, and the extent to which those people can pass the virus on to others. Everyone needs to continue to follow public health measures for the time being, even after receiving the vaccine.

 

Do I have a choice which vaccine I get offered?

You will be told which vaccine is being offered at your clinic, but given limited supplies of vaccine at this time, it is unlikely that anyone will have an option about which vaccine they can receive.

 

Do the current vaccines protect against variants? Does one dose offer protection against any/all variants?

Current evidence is that the vaccines we are using are effective against the COVID-19 virus including the new variants that have been described so far. This type of vaccine can also be adjusted quite quickly if the virus changes more substantially.

 

How long does protection from one dose last?

We don’t know how long the protection from one dose will last. In fact, the duration of protection is unknown for either single or two-dose regimens since studies have only lasted a few months to date. But we do know that both vaccines are effective after the first dose, at least in the short term. We will be carefully watching the studies and the evidence as it emerges, as well as tracking the experience in our own province, and making adjustments to our approach accordingly. If we get more or new vaccines this will also affect the approach.

Our plan is to extend the protection with a second dose as soon as reasonable. For most vaccines, the first dose contributes the most towards short term protection. Antibody levels decline gradually over time and do not suddenly fall below protective levels. The experience with most vaccines is that delay in the receipt of the second dose does not require the series to be restarted.

Our plan will see us continue to give both doses to the most vulnerable aged 80-plus within the national timeframe.

Information about specific vaccines

To date, the Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and AstraZeneca/Covishield vaccines have been approved for use by Health Canada.

Learn more about the COVID-19 vaccines approved for use in New Brunswick: