New Brunswick will move into the “green” phase at midnight on Friday night, which means all COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted.
That is despite the province not reaching its initial target of having 75 per cent of eligible residents vaccinated before doing so.
Health Minister Dorothy Shephard said the province is in a good position to go green.
“This is the time to do this. We just don’t have any reason to not proceed with going green and that’s a really good thing,” Shephard said in a phone interview Thursday.
“I hope the population of New Brunswick takes confidence that, through all of COVID, we’ve been very clear about watching the data and responding to the best information we have on any given day.”
As of Thursday morning, 66.1 per cent of New Brunswickers aged 12 and older were fully vaccinated and 81.9 per cent had at least one dose.
Daily vaccination rates have fallen since the province changed the “path to green” target last week.
Fewer than 6,000 doses were administered on Tuesday and Wednesday. The number was even lower on Monday with fewer than 2,500 people receiving a shot.
However, Shephard said she believes those who received the first dose will get their second in due course.
“I know that’s summer is a time where we all kind of get into our lazy hazy crazy days of summer and we want to have some reprieve from thinking about COVID, but that’s why we need to continue the messaging,” she said.
A series of mobile vaccination clinics are taking place throughout the province for those who have not yet received their first or second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.
Several community clinics are also talking walk-ins without appointments over the coming days.