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COVID-19 youth vaccination clinics begin in Yukon

With a majority of Yukon adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the territory is now looking to give shots to a new group — younger teens. Vaccination clinics for Yukoners aged 12 to 17 begin Monday.

Clinics to administer Pfizer shots begin Monday in Faro, and Tuesday in Whitehorse

Hunter Went, 13, seen here with his mom Kara Went, will be among the first youth in Yukon to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Clinics to administer Pfizer shots to youth aged 12 to 17 begin Monday in Went's community of Faro. (Submitted by Kara Went)

With a majority of Yukon adults fully vaccinated against COVID-19, the territory is now looking to give shots to a new group — adolescents. 

Vaccination clinics for Yukoners aged 12 to 17 begin Monday in Faro, and Tuesday in Whitehorse. It's the first opportunity for anyone under 18 to be vaccinated in Yukon.

Similar clinics for youth will be held in other Yukon communities in the coming weeks.

"I think I'm going to be one of the first," said 13-year-old Hunter Went of Faro, who already has his appointment booked for Monday.

"It makes me feel like a role model," he said.

Up until this week, Moderna has been the only COVID-19 vaccine available in Yukon. That vaccine has not yet been approved by Health Canada for use in people under the age of 18.

Earlier this month, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was approved by Health Canada for those aged 12 to 17. The Yukon government then arranged with Ottawa to have enough Pfizer doses sent for youth in the territory.

Vaccine clinics for youth in Whitehorse will be held at the Yukon Convention Centre beginning on Tuesday. Clinics in rural communities will be held at local schools. (Mark Evans/CBC)

Adults in Yukon will continue to receive Moderna shots.

Hunter Went's mother, Kara Went, says she was excited to hear about the vaccination clinics for youth. She had "no hesitation whatsoever" in getting her son signed up for his shot.

"I'm a firm believer in science, we trust the scientists on this one," she said.

"I think we're quite thankful, the family, that the youth in Faro have this opportunity so much earlier than so many other places across Canada."

Territorial health officials say the youth vaccine clinics will be more limited than those held for adults. First-dose Pfizer clinics will be one-day-only events in rural communities, and in Whitehorse from June 1 to 18. Second-dose clinics are scheduled roughly three weeks later in communities, and from June 23 to July 18 in Whitehorse.

The full schedule of youth vaccine clinics can be found on the government's website.

With files from Jane Sponagle

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