FREDERICTON (GNB) – In less than 24 hours, more than 1,600 New Brunswickers have responded to the call for volunteers in support of the province’s pandemic response efforts.

The government is asking anyone who can assist with clinical and non-clinical work to come forward and ease the strain on the health-care system.

“We are encouraged to see so many New Brunswickers step up and answer our call in one day,” said Health Minister Dorothy Shephard. “Please pass along the word to neighbours, family members and friends to see if they can also give us a helping hand in this fight against the Omicron variant.”

Clinical work includes administering vaccinations and COVID-19 testing, patient services and personal support work. Non-clinical work includes clerical support, office administration, logistical support, data entry, customer service, and food preparation and delivery.

Training specific to the work to be done, including health and safety training, and required personal protective equipment will be provided.

Those interested in volunteering are asked to complete an online form. Each volunteer will be contacted but priority will be given to people who can fill areas of highest need.

Parents encouraged to get children aged five to 11 vaccinated

Parents and guardians are urged to book a COVID-19 vaccine appointment now for their child’s first or second dose if they have not yet done so.

“Ensuring as many children as possible are vaccinated is the best path forward to get kids back to in-person school and make it possible for them to participate in sports and activities,” said Dr. Jennifer Russell, chief medical officer of health. “I want to remind parents that it is important for children to complete their full vaccine schedule so they have the best possible protection against COVID-19 and the highly transmissible Omicron variant.”

Children aged five to 11 who have already received their first dose of the vaccine will soon be eligible to receive their second dose once eight weeks have passed since their first dose.

To date, 52.6 per cent of children in this age group have received their first dose, leaving about 25,000 children who have not.


New Brunswickers eligible for booster doses of a COVID-19 vaccine are also encouraged to book appointments. Booster doses are available to everyone 18 and older as long as five months have passed since their second dose.

Fifty-seven per cent of New Brunswickers 50 and over have received a booster; the number increases to 68 per cent among those 60 and over.

“We know that people who are fully vaccinated and have a booster dose have better protection from serious illness or hospitalization from COVID-19,” said Russell. “As the Omicron variant continues to spread, we all need to take steps to protect ourselves. That includes getting a booster as soon as you are eligible.”

Appointments can be booked online at vaccination clinics offered through the Vitalité and Horizon health networks.

Many pharmacies across the province are also offering vaccine clinics. Appointments can be made by contacting a participating pharmacy directly.

Those unable to book an appointment online, or who otherwise need assistance booking through a health authority clinic or pharmacy, may call 1-833-437-1424.

Since Jan. 10, more than 38,000 appointments have been booked with the regional health authorities for booster doses of an mRNA vaccine. The health authorities have more than 30,000 appointments available between now and Jan. 31. In addition, pharmacies have received nearly 44,000 doses for their COVID-19 clinics.


Public Health reported there are 11 people in intensive care and another 112 in hospital with COVID-19, for a total of 123 people hospitalized.

Of those currently hospitalized, 67 were admitted for reasons other than COVID-19.

There are currently 342 health-care workers who have tested positive for the virus and are isolating.

Fifty-five per cent of the 11 patients in ICU are either unvaccinated, partially vaccinated, or it has been more than six months since their second dose. Ninety-eight hospitalized patients with COVID-19 are 60 or older and six people are on a ventilator. Four people 19 or under are hospitalized. The seven-day rolling average of hospitalizations is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

The rate of people hospitalized and in ICU continues to most greatly impact people who are unvaccinated and those who are over six months from their second dose. Information about the rates of cases and hospitalizations based on vaccination status, the age and origin of new cases, and additional information, is available on the COVID-19 dashboard.

Four people who had COVID-19 have died: a person 70-79 in Zone 1 (Moncton region); a person 60-69 in Zone 3 (Fredericton region); and two people in Zone 4 (Edmundston region): one person 70-79 and another person 90 and over.

Learn more

The entire province is currently in the Level 3 phase of the winter plan to manage COVID-19. More information on the COVID-19 alert system, including guidance on public health measures, restrictions and the mandatory order, is available online.

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