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



On this page

Vaccine development
New Brunswick’s vaccine strategy
Immunization program
Preparing for the vaccines
Rollout of immunizations
Health and Allied Health Professionals



Vaccine development

Having safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines available is important to help with the long-term management of COVID-19. Health Canada has prioritized the review of all COVID-19 drugs and vaccines.

Creating a new vaccine can take years. However, the development of vaccines for COVID-19 has progressed quickly for many reasons, including:

  • advances in science and technology
  • international collaboration among scientists, health professionals, researchers, industry and governments
  • increased dedicated funding

In December 2020 Health Canada announced that the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines meet the Department's stringent safety, efficacy and quality requirements for use in Canada.




New Brunswick’s vaccine strategy

The New Brunswick COVID-19 vaccine rollout plan aligns with the National Advisory Committee on Immunization statement on COVID Vaccines and the Public Health Agency of Canada COVID-19 Immunization Plan: Saving Lives and Livelihoods which aims to secure vaccines that are safe, effective and in sufficient quantities – at the earliest possible time. Utilising expertise from across all-of-government, it sets the necessary steps that New Brunswick must take to ensure we have the correct infrastructure, regulations and relationships in place to enable access to sufficient quantities of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines.

Strong vaccination uptake levels are critical to achieve sufficient population immunity, which will help protect all New Brunswickers from COVID-19.

Vaccine is now ready to come to the province however, in very small quantities. Increased availability of vaccine is expected in spring or summer of 2021.

Who we're working with

We’re working closely with a range of partners and stakeholders to make sure the widest possible range of needs, perspectives, concerns and advice are considered throughout the process. This includes:

  • Government of Canada
  • Canadian Forces
  • Public Health Agency of Canada
  • Government of New Brunswick
  • Public Health New Brunswick
  • Regional Health Authorities
  • New Brunswick Medical Society
  • New Brunswick Pharmacists’ Association
  • New Brunswick College of Pharmacists
  • Nurses Association of New Brunswick


Getting started

The first stage of this program of work is focused on the purchasing process to secure safe and effective vaccines, this is being co-ordinated by Canada's National Operations Centre. The next stage of work will focus on the immunization program and supporting information campaigns, systems and processes once effective vaccines are available, which is being coordinated by Public Health New Brunswick.



Immunization program

The Public Health Agency of Canada COVID-19 Immunization Plan: Saving Lives and Livelihoods sets the direction for the COVID-19 Immunization Program which will deliver the rollout of vaccines.

The exact timing of when vaccines will be available to New Brunswickers changes frequently, however, to date, we do know that small amount of vaccine will be available in the province in December 2020 with shipments continuing into the winter months. New Brunswick is aligned with other Canadian provinces and territories and has developed a phased in approach during 2021 based on priority groups and supply. The rollout of safe and effective vaccines is our absolute priority. We recognize we need to move fast, but we must not compromise the integrity of the process or vaccine safety. Safety will always be our priority. Any vaccine needs to meet Health Canada agreed criteria for safety, efficacy and quality.



Preparing for the vaccines

Our preparation work to support the delivery of an effective immunization program includes considering:

  • workforce considerations
  • timing and delivery options
  • logistics and supply chain management
  • safety and integrity of the vaccines
  • technology

This also includes planning for and proactive purchasing of infrastructure that supports the rollout of any vaccines. For example, cool storage and freezer facilities.


Rollout of immunizations

New Brunswick’s approach is in alignment with the Public Health Agency of Canada’ COVID-19 Immunization Plan: Saving Lives and Livelihoods as well as a New Brunswick sequenced rollout plan to ensure that the appropriate vaccines are made available to people at the right time. The approach will consider a range of potential scenarios. For example, whether COVID-19 remains outside our borders or not we need to respond to increased community transition and protect our most vulnerable populations.



Priority Groups

The first phase of our plan calls for New Brunswickers, as per the National Advisory Committee on Imunization (NACI) recommendations, to be immunized in the first weeks and months.

Stage 1 (December 2020 to March 2021)

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines

These groups include:

  • Long-term care residents and staff
  • Health care workers with direct patient contact
  • Adults in First Nations communities
  • Older New Brunswickers

Stage 2 (Spring 2021)

Including other vaccines

  • Residents and staff of communal settings (homeless shelters, correctional centres, etc.)
  • Other healthcare workers including pharmacists
  • First responders and critical infrastructure workers (power, water and sewer, etc.)

Once vaccine supply is continuous and in large enough quantities, the entire population will be offered the opportunity to be immunized.

Availability of vaccine is expected to be limited until mid-to-late summer

Subsequent stages

Like other provinces, New Brunswick is basing its prioritization and sequencing on the work of the National Advisory Committee on Immunization recommendations on key populations to be immunized first – including nursing home residents and staff, healthcare workers, older seniors, and adults in Indigenous communities.

As eligibility is expanded, information will be provided to indicate how individuals in those groups can register to receive the vaccine.