CBC News | North
January 7, 2021 | Danielle d’Entremont
Beginning the week of Jan. 18, 2 mobile teams will travel into rural Yukon communities
The Yukon government has prioritized residents of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers as the first to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine this week. (John Woods/The Canadian Press)
Yukon officials released details on Thursday about when COVID-19 vaccines will be delivered across the territory in the coming weeks.
They also announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Whitehorse, related to previous cases.
The preliminary vaccination schedule was released Thursday after the territory’s weekly COVID-19 update, the first that officials have given since the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine arrived in the territory last week.
Officials said the schedule is subject to change based on the availability and uptake of vaccines:
Jan. 4 – 10
- Long-term care residents and staff at Whitehorse’s Whistle Bend Place, Thompson Centre, and other continuing care staff.
Jan. 11 – 17
- Long-term care residents and staff at Copper Ridge and Birch Lodge in Whitehorse.
- Homebound home care clients, and other continuing care staff.
- Long-term care residents and staff at McDonald Lodge and high-risk health care staff in Dawson City.
- High-risk health care staff from Whitehorse General Hospital.
Jan. 18 – 24
- High-risk health care staff in Whitehorse, including Whitehorse General Hospital staff.
- Watson Lake, Upper Liard, and Lower Post residents.
- Residents of Beaver Creek and Old Crow.
Jan. 25 – 31
- Continuation of high-risk and vulnerable populations in Whitehorse.
- Residents of Dawson City, Carcross, Tagish, Teslin, and Pelly Crossing.
Feb. 1 – 6
- Continuation of Whitehorse clinic with priority given to high-risk and vulnerable populations
- People living in Burwash Landing, Destruction Bay, Haines Junction, Carmacks, Faro, Mayo, and Ross River.
Feb. 10 – Mar. 22
- Anyone eligible, aged 18 and older in Whitehorse. The territorial government says capacity will be based on vaccine availability.
Mobile vaccination teams heading to communities
The territorial government has prioritized residents of long-term care facilities and healthcare workers as the first to receive the vaccine this week. Two residents of the Whistle Bend Place care facility in Whitehorse were the first to get the shots on Monday afternoon.
Minister of Health and Social Services Pauline Frost said that since Monday the territory has vaccinated 310 individuals, with no adverse reactions as of yet.
Frost said Thursday that by the end of this week the territory expects to have vaccinated 500 people.
Beginning the week of Jan. 18, Frost said two mobile teams will travel into rural Yukon communities to immunize all willing adults.
“Each team will travel with multiple immunizers so that teams can immunize as many people as possible while they are in each community,” she said.
While those teams are travelling out to communities, she said a mass clinic will open up at the Whitehorse convention centre during the week of Jan. 18.
“The initial priority will be high-risk healthcare staff including First Nations healthcare workers and those working at the Whitehorse General Hospital. We need to work quickly to protect our frontline healthcare workers,” said Frost.
Members of the community that are vulnerable and at-risk will also be first in line to get vaccinated.
Immunizations will be available primarily through scheduled appointments, said Frost, and there will be options to book online or by phone. She said these details will be available early next week.
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Missed Thursday’s news conference? Watch it here:
The territorial government says its plan is to have 75 per cent of the territory’s adult population vaccinated by the end of March.
Yukon’s vaccine strategy identifies as priority groups people working and living in long-term care homes, group homes, and shelters; health-care workers, elderly people, and people living in rural and remote communities.
Frost said earlier this week that the first priority group consists of just over 1,100 people, and the government is hopeful that “all who are in this category choose to take the vaccine.”
3 new cases in Whitehorse
On Thursday afternoon, the territory also announced three new cases of COVID-19 in Yukon. The territorial government says that all three are Whitehorse residents, and that they are related to travel outside the territory and related to previous cases.
Officials say all three people are isolating at home, and there are no additional exposure notices issued at this time.
There have also been five new charges under the Civil Emergency Measures Act (CEMA), since the last COVID-19 update on Dec. 23. These include three charges of failure to self-isolate, one charge of failure to wear a mask, and one charge of failure to behave in a manner consistent with declaration.