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COVID-19: N.B. sees rise in hospitalizations, begins booking vaccines for kids under 5

Click to play video: 'Couple says shortages at N.B. hospital left long-term health impacts'
Couple says shortages at N.B. hospital left long-term health impacts
A Shediac man says his wife experienced first-hand the effects of hospital overcrowding and staffing shortages. His wife spent nine months at a Moncton hospital while waiting to be placed in long term care, but he says hospital staff did not have the time to properly care for her and he says that lead to long-term health impacts. Suzanne Lapointe has their story – Jul 25, 2022

New Brunswick’s weekly COVID-19 update has shown a slight decrease in the number of PCR-confirmed cases, but an increase in the number of hospital admissions and active hospitalizations.

According to the report, which covers July 17 to 23, there were 938 positive tests based on PCR testing — a drop from 1,004 from the week before.

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But hospital admissions jumped from 40 to 30, compared to last week. And active hospitalizations also increased to 34, from 22 the previous week.

The majority of hospital admissions were among the elderly. Twenty-five of this reporting period’s admissions were among patients in their 70s and older.

The province recorded five deaths due to COVID-19, which is the same figure as the week before.

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Expert discusses timing when it comes to second COVID-19 booster doses

The highly-transmissible BA.5. Omicron subvariant appears to have taken a stronghold in the province. Seventy-one per cent of the most recent random sample sequenced were BA.5.

Earlier this month, the World Health Organization (WHO) warned that BA.5 was spreading at a “very intense level” and driving new cases, hospitalizations and deaths around the world.

Twenty per cent were BA.4. and nine per cent were BA.2. None of the sample returned were the BA.1. subvariant.

Vaccines for kids under 5 to begin in early August

Meanwhile, the province announced Tuesday people can now begin booking vaccine appointments for children aged six months to five years.

The shots will be given at Public Health clinics and some pharmacies, beginning the first week of August.

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Health Canada approved the Moderna pediatric vaccine for infants and preschoolers on July 14. It is the only COVID-19 vaccine currently approved by Health Canada for that age group.

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