COVID-19 vaccine’s not a cure, Nunavut’s top doc warns

Territory reports one new case

Canadian Armed Forces members and cargo workers unload medical-grade freezers from a C-130J Super Hercules on Saturday, Dec. 12, in Iqaluit so they can be used to store a COVID-19 vaccine made by Moderna. (Photo by Frank Reardon)

By Jim Bell

The impending arrival of a COVID-19 vaccine doesn’t mean Nunavummiut can relax and let their guards down in the fight against the potentially fatal coronavirus, Dr. Michael Patterson, the chief public health officer, says.

Nunavut’s Health Department reported only one new case of COVID-19 Thursday. Counting recoveries, there are now 37 active cases in Nunavut, all in hard-hit Arviat.

But Patterson warned COVID-19 poses a long-term threat and that the arrival of the vaccine should be seen as a first step in a long journey.

“It is not a cure, but the best defence we have so far,” he said.

Nunavut is expected to receive batches of a vaccine made by the U.S.-based Moderna Inc. sometime in the new year, soon after Health Canada approves it for use in adults aged 18 and over.

Nunavut is expected to receive enough doses of the Moderna vaccine to inoculate up to 75 per cent of the population.

Medical freezers capable of storing the Moderna vaccine at -20 Celsius have already been pre-positioned in the territory.

As of Thursday, Nunavut has reported 259 lab-confirmed cases and 222 recoveries.

The territory reported its first case on Nov. 6 in Sanikiluaq, but after that the caseload grew quickly with cases confirmed in Rankin Inlet, Arviat and Whale Cove.

Arviat, which has seen a total of 217 confirmed cases, is still under strict lockdown. As of Dec. 16, Arviat had also produced 972 negative tests.

There are now zero cases in Sanikiluaq, Rankin Inlet and Whale Cove, but monitoring in those communities continues.

Across Canada, more than 481,000 cases and nearly 14,000 deaths have been reported since March, when the pandemic began. Nunavut has reported no deaths so far.

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(6) Comments:

  1. Posted by Anti vax cures? on

    Any cures on the horizon for the anti vax epidemic spreading through Nunavut? Or is the old saying “you can’t fix stupid” true?

    • Posted by Gobble Gobble on

      Unfortunately the “stupid” pandemic is spreading faster than COVID and nobody’s even working on a cure.

      • Posted by Qavvigarjuk on

        I do not think we will ever get a cure like the flu virus. We will probably have to get inoculated every year

  2. Posted by Sure why not.. on

    A year of isolation hubs that failed anyway at astronomical taxpayer expense. No at home isolation option although possible everywhere else in Canada. Cash handed over to airlines instead of loans while small companies struggle. Funds paid to hotels in the south without discounts even though they would be empty otherwise. Funds handed over to inuit companies to manage those hotels at inflated costs. Health department senior management and RCMP abusing crucial status to skip hubs thousands of times for r&r and vacation while telling public servants and teachers to use their leave time and paying millions to construction workers to sit in the same isolation hubs for no reason. Millions spent by this government without transparent processes required by our laws. Work from home with no equipment or procedure established despite months to prepare. Open schools but close the legislature for safety. Close schools, but not be ready for remote learning.
    He is right, the vaccine is no cure. There is no cure for how botched this response has been. Let’s just carry on doing whatever the GN says.

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      And how many people in Nunavut have died from Covid-19? At this time the number is zero.
      I think that we need to stop measuring success in how much money was spent, but by how many people were affected. Sure there are negative effects, days of work or school lost. We can cope with that.
      You can’t bring back those you love if they were to die of Covid-19.
      Stay safe. Wear a mask. Social distance. Get the vaccine as soon as it becomes available. We will get through this.

    • Posted by Also… on

      To add to “sure why not” had to day – which I found very well written.

      There were also the high ranking Nunavut Politicians who said covid was overrated many times off the cameras.
      Some I know took the outbreak to spend lots of time in their cabins etc while claiming to work.

      Many who set poor examples and didn’t follow the advice they were preaching to others.

      Then there were the ones who are using covid 19 as an excuse for why they are not on top of other GN priorities. They had how many years in office? To claim things were not done because of covid which was not even discussed in Nunavut until March 2020. Give yourself a shake. Pathetic and sickening.

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