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Just under 2,000 New Brunswickers are now fully vaccinated
Public Health has administered nearly 8,000 doses of vaccine for COVID-19 in the province, and just under 2,000 New Brunswickers are now completely inoculated. Dr. Hanif Chatur, an emergency room physician at the Upper River Valley Hospital in Waterville, is among the first New Brunswickers to receive his second dose of the two-dose Pfizer vaccine this past weekend in Miramichi. He is now fully vaccinated and has the documentation to prove it.
"You do get a piece of paper, which has the dose, and the allotment number and the expiry date," said Dr. Chatur.
Dr. Chatur has been using the hashtags #gotmyshot and #gotmyshotnb to share his vaccination journey on social media to demystify the experience for other New Brunswickers. Although only about half the people who get vaccinated experience mild side effects, Dr. Chatur said he didn't experience any symptoms after the first dose and hasn't experienced any thus far after the second and final dose.
"After my second shot, I felt 100% okay and didn't even have a sore arm, although some of my colleagues had flu-like symptoms," said Dr. Chatur.
In a press conference on Monday, New Brunswick Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Russell said side effects from the Pfizer vaccine are more common after the second dose.
"What we know about the second dose to the Pfizer vaccine is that if someone is going to have a reaction, it will be to the second dose," said Dr. Russell.
Dr. Chatur says having the vaccine gives him increased peace of mind, particularly when he's at work in the emergency room.
"Right now, it makes me feel more hopeful that if the virus gets through the defenses I am hardly using against it, I would still be protected," said Dr. Chatur.
At a press conference on Monday, Dr. Russell said Public Health is monitoring for the presence of the more contagious UK strain of the virus in New Brunswick but so far as not detected in the province.
"We have sent two samples to the national laboratory so far in Winnipeg, and they both came back negative. The turnaround time is about one week," said Dr. Russell.
Finally, Saint Andrews resident James Whitehead put up a Charlie Brown Christmas tree in front of his house over the holidays as a tribute to 2020--a year that universally didn't go as planned. What he didn't expect was to find a new ornament on it every morning well into the New Year, a reminder that when you live in a town where neighbours care about neighbours, even the most socially distant of times are full of community spirit and togetherness.
"Every day, somebody would add something new to it," said Whitehead. "Now it's less like a Christmas tree and more like a miracle tree."
Charlotte County television is New Brunswick's only source for independent community television. Since 1993, CHCO-TV has been providing Southwest New Brunswick with locally-produced content made by community it serves.
The mission of CHCO-TV is to promote community media and to encourage, educate and engage residents in Southwestern New Brunswick, to use new media and technology, to improve civic involvement, learn new media skills and enhance the culture, the economy, health and quality of life in New Brunswick.