Bivalent COVID-19 vaccine now available for more Nunavummiut

Eligible groups include people aged 45 and older, immunocompromised and health-care workers

The groups being offered the bivalent vaccine now includes: Nunavummiut aged 45 and older, immunocompromised people aged 12 and older, as well as health-care workers. (Graphic by Viktor Forgacs/Unsplash)

By Nunatsiaq News

The Moderna bivalent COVID-19 vaccine is now available to more Nunavummiut, the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Health said Monday.

Eligible groups now include:

  • Nunavummiut 45 years or older;
  • immunocompromised Nunavummiut aged 12 or older;
  • all health-care workers;
  • healing facility staff and residents.

The bivalent vaccine offers improved protection against the Omicron variant of COVID-19 as well as the original coronavirus. However, Nunavut’s chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson said in an interview with Nunatsiaq News that the initial vaccine still offers good protection.

Previously, the bivalent vaccine was available only for Elders aged 70 and older as well as staff of long-term care residences due to limited supply.

On Sept. 23, the GN declared a COVID-19 outbreak at Gjoa Haven Continuing Care Centre. As of Sept. 26, nine people at the centre have COVID-19.

At the beginning of September, the GN warned another wave of COVID-19 is expected to hit the territory in the winter and Nunavummiut are advised to have their vaccinations up to date.

“The single most important thing is that if it’s been more than six months [since your last vaccine dose], get the next booster dose that you can,” Patterson told Nunatsiaq News at the time.

The COVID-19 vaccine continues to be available to all Nunavummiut aged six months and older. Appointments for a booster shot can be made by contacting a local health centre or public health unit.

For Iqaluit, bivalent vaccines are offered through appointment only. They can be scheduled Monday to Friday from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and 1 to 4:15 p.m.

As supply of the bivalent vaccine increases, eligibility will expand. As well, the bivalent vaccine can be given at the same time as the flu shot.

Anyone with questions about the vaccine can phone the COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-975-8601 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST from Monday to Friday, or visit the GN’s COVID-19 information webpage.


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