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N.B. to receive 3,900 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine next week: health minister

Click to play video 'First doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Miramichi, N.B.' First doses of the COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Miramichi, N.B.
WATCH: With a solid step toward normalcy, during this pandemic, the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have arrived. Callum Smith has more – Dec 15, 2020

New Brunswick is expecting to receive 3,900 more doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine next week, the province’s health minister announced on Tuesday.

Dorothy Shephard told the provincial legislature on Tuesday that the 3,900 doses will arrive next week.

Read more: New Brunswick reports single new case of COVID-19 as first doses of vaccine arrive

The province received its first 1,950 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Miramichi Regional Hospital on Tuesday.

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The province released a video on its social media channels Tuesday showing the vaccine arriving, being unpacked and stored in large freezers.

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The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be kept at -70 C, according to Pfizer, whose vaccine got the green light from Health Canada just last week.

Click to play video 'Coronavirus: Canada continuing negotiation on delivery of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine' Coronavirus: Canada continuing negotiation on delivery of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine
Coronavirus: Canada continuing negotiation on delivery of Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine – Dec 15, 2020

New Brunswick will administer the first doses of the vaccine to members of priority groups this weekend at an immunization clinic in Miramichi.

Half, or 1,950, of the 3,900 doses arriving next week will be held until the weekend of Jan. 9, 2021 to serve as the second dose of the vaccine for those receiving the vaccine this weekend.

Click to play video 'New Brunswickers react following arrival of COVID-19 vaccines' New Brunswickers react following arrival of COVID-19 vaccines
New Brunswickers react following arrival of COVID-19 vaccines – Dec 15, 2020

 

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The other half will be used to administer two doses to an additional 975 people in New Brunswick.

The federal government also announced on Tuesday that it has secured 168,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine that should arrive before the end of December.

Read more: Freezers that until recently held choice P.E.I. tuna will now store COVID-19 vaccine

However, that is contingent on approval from Health Canada.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said delivery of the Moderna vaccines could begin 48 hours after Health Canada’s approval.

The doses will be directed to remote and Indigenous communities in Northern Canada, which could be transported within the coming weeks.

While Pfizer’s vaccine needs to be stored at an ultracold temperature until it is injected, Moderna’s vaccine can survive in regular freezers.

The province said it remains prepared to receive and distribute vaccines as larger numbers of doses become available.