Mass vaccination clinics started in Iqaluit, the capital of Canada’s Arctic territory of Nunavut, Monday morning, marking a big step toward the territory’s goal of having 75 per cent of the adult population vaccinated.
So far, vaccinations have been available in Iqaluit for residents 45 years old and over.
Seniors, health staff and people who live in shelters were given vaccines first. Vaccine clinics have already rolled out in most communities in the territory.
With the opening of today’s clinics in Iqaluit, all three Northern territories have made the COVID-19 vaccine available to their entire adult population.
Nunavut has received 26,400 vaccine doses as of March 11.
A spokesperson for the Nunavut government says the Iqaluit Public Health team has been “extremely busy” taking appointments for the Moderna vaccine. Between four and six people are booking appointments.
This week, there have been 1,500 appointments booked for first doses in Iqaluit.
As of Sunday, there have been 15,889 doses administered across Nunavut, 10,139 of which are first doses. Second dose clinics will run into April.
There have been 383 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the territory, and there are six active cases, all in Arviat, where the majority of cases have been.
Because Nunavut has a high population of youth under 18 years old, Premier Joe Savikataaq has been urging adults to get their vaccines to keep their communities safe.
Written by Amy Tucker, with files from Jacqueline McKay
Related stories from around the North:
Denmark/Greenland: Greenland authorities buoyed by high demand for COVID-19 vaccine, Eye on the Arctic
Iceland: Iceland institutes new COVID-19 border measures, Eye on the Arctic
Norway: Norway extends border closure with Finland due to pandemic, The Independent Barents Observer
Russia: Norway closes borders over fears of virus, but exempts Russian fishermen from severely infected border region, The Independent Barents Observer
Sweden: Swedes caught in Norway border limbo, Radio Sweden
United States: Negative COVID-19 test no longer required to enter Alaska, The Associated Press