North

N.W.T. front-line workers receive COVID-19 vaccine

Priority groups include the emergency department, intensive care, respiratory therapy, lab staff who are processing COVID-19 testing, dedicated COVID clinics, and public health.

Priority staff include emergency room, intensive care, COVID clinics, COVID lab and public health

Health-care staff at Stanton Territorial Hospital after their immunizations. From top left, University of Alberta resident Kajsa Heyes, and emergency room nurses Dave Phypers and Rielle Nakehk'o. In front are medical resident Thomsen D'Hont, and AnneMarie Pegg, territorial medical director and emergency room physician. (Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority)

Front-line workers in Yellowknife received the COVID-19 vaccine on Sunday.

The first phase of workers to receive the Moderna vaccine were staff at long-term care facilities, who received it last week along with residents, according to an emailed statement Monday from the Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority.

Over the weekend, they started administering the vaccine to front-line staff at Stanton Territorial Hospital in a "phased manner based on priority," said communications manager David Maguire in the email.

"Priority is based on the likelihood of contracting COVID-19 or transmitting the virus to those at high risk of severe illness or death."

Priority groups include the emergency department, intensive care, respiratory therapy, lab staff who are processing COVID-19 testing, dedicated COVID clinics, and public health, he said.

Dr. AnneMarie Pegg, territorial medical director, receives her first dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Stanton Territorial Hospital on Jan. 10. (Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority)

The N.W.T. already immunized 130 residents and staff at two long-term care facilities, one in Yellowknife and one in Behchokǫ̀, on Dec. 31.

The N.W.T. released its plan to distribute the vaccine to its 33 communities last week.

The territory received 7,200 doses of the Moderna vaccine on Dec. 28. It expects to receive two more shipments of 7,200 doses at three- to four-week intervals before receiving its final shipment of more than 20,000 doses in mid-March.

When the territory gets its final shipment in mid-March, it expects it will have received 51,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine, enough to immunize 75 per cent of the adult population. 

The Moderna vaccine is considered best for the territories, because the doses are more easily shipped and stored than the Pfizer vaccine.

The Moderna vaccine requires a second dose, about one month after the first dose is administered.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.

now