First doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrive in Nunavut

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The first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Nunavut on Wednesday on a scheduled flight from Canadian North, but it will be another week before the territory announces details of how they will be distributed.
Nunavut officials have confirmed the territory received 6,000 doses in this first two-part shipment to the territory, a number of Premier Joe Savikataaq said last week he expected when the vaccine was approved for use by Health Canada. Half of the doses have been sent to Iqaluit and the other half to Rankin Inlet, where they are expected to arrive shortly.

Today, Savikataaq said the arrival of the vaccine marks an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19.

“We still have to take social distance and all the public health measures we need to take, but today is a very good day and I am so happy that the vaccine is here now for Nunavummiut,” he said. he declares.

Patterson says he expects to see a new shipment of doses every three weeks. Of the 6,000 doses sent to Nunavut on Wednesday, half were sent to Rankin Inlet. (Jackie McKay / CBC)

The Yukon and the Northwest Territories each received 7,200 doses on Monday and plan to start immunizing residents early in the new year.

The Government of Nunavut has announced that it is planning a press conference on January 5 to announce details of its vaccine deployment plan.

“Three thousand doses have arrived here in Iqaluit, and another 3,000 are on their way to Rankin [that] should be there a little later today. This is a great start to getting a normal life back for Nunavummiut, ”said Chief Public Health Officer Dr Michael Patterson after the vaccines arrived at the airport.

“We were told to expect shipments about every three weeks. ” he said.

Last week he said the cast would not take place until the first few weeks of January. He said seniors and long-term care workers will be vaccinated first.

Savikataaq said on Twitter that it could take “weeks or months” for the territory to vaccinate other adult residents.

The federal government has pledged sufficient doses of the Moderna vaccine – which is prioritized for remote areas – to inoculate up to 75% of the territory’s adult population in the first three months of 2021.

Moderna vaccine can be shipped and stored at normal freezing temperatures, while Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine must be stored at –70 C to remain stable. Nunavut does not have the infrastructure to store and deliver Pfizer vaccine to its 25 communities that are accessible by air.

There are three active cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut as of Wednesday. That’s down from eight cases on Monday, when a new case was announced in Whale Cove.

There are currently two active cases in Whale Cove and one active case in Arviat. Movement within and outside these communities is currently limited.

No new cases were reported on Wednesday, Savikataaq said on social media.

According to the Government of Nunavut, there have been a total of 266 cases of COVID-19 in Nunavut and one death since the first case was announced in Sanikiluaq in early November.

A Canadian North flight carrying the first doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine from Nunavut lands on the tarmac in Iqaluit on Wednesday. (Jackie McKay / CBC)



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