Just one in five Nunavik adults are fully vaccinated
‘The region is not adequately protected,’ says health board
Only one in five Nunavik adults have been fully immunized against COVID-19 following a region-wide vaccine roll-out, says the region’s health board.
“It should be understood that [our] vaccination coverage is low, which means the region is not adequately protected,” said Josée Levesque, a spokesperson at the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said in a social media post on Wednesday.
The health board’s latest numbers show that 35 per cent of Nunavimmiut have a first dose, while just 20 per cent of residents received a second dose.
The health board’s goal is to reach 75 per cent vaccine coverage.
The board’s initial estimates of vaccination rates were considerably higher.
Following the region’s two-phase vaccination campaign in January and April, which offered a first or second dose to every Nunavik adult, Nunavik’s public health director Dr. Marie Rochette estimated that about half of the region’s roughly 9,000 eligible adults were now protected against the virus.
But health authorities have now teased out data that originally included any non-residents or temporary workers who’d been vaccinated in the region since January.
Vaccines are still available by appointment at most health centres across Nunavik.
Health officials are in discussion with community and regional leaders over if and how to lift restrictions across the region this summer.
The health board said Wednesday it’s considering maintaining certain measures for Nunavimmiut who aren’t yet fully immunized, while lifting other restrictions for those who are protected.
Nunavik health authorities say it’s also a matter of time before young people in the region between the ages of 12 and 17 will be able to get vaccinated, now that Health Canada has approved the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for that age group.
The health board initially eyed an in-school rollout for teens, but with the school year ending this week across the region, that would push those vaccinate clinics until August, when schools re-open.
“We are, at the present moment, working on the organization of vaccine distribution for 12-17 year olds in the coming weeks,” Levesque said.
“A lot of things need to be looked at on the logistical level and also on the availability of the doses.”