Nunavut’s COVID-19 wave may come in November: chief public health officer

Patterson recommends vaccination, booster shots for everyone able to take them

Nunavut’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, said a possible COVID-19 wave in Nunavut may happen in November, a week or two after a national one occurs. (Photo by David Venn)

By David Lochead

If another wave of COVID-19 hits Nunavut, it will likely be in November.

That projection is based on national modelling data that shows there is an increase in infections when the weather turns colder and people spend more time indoors, Nunavut’s chief public health officer Michael Patterson said in an interview with Nunatsiaq News.

Canada-wide, a new wave is expected sometime in late October or November and Nunavut’s next wave has typically come a week or two after the national one, he said.

Earlier this month, Nunavut’s Department of Health issued a news release urging people to prepare for a new wave of COVID-19 by ensuring their vaccinations are up to date.

Addressing concerns that repeated COVID-19 infections might weaken people’s immune systems, Patterson said that shouldn’t be a worry for the majority of people.

“Mortality against COVID-19 has been the lowest it has been in more than two years,” he said.

However, he said the risk of long COVID — which Health Canada describes as someone still experiencing physical or psychological symptoms 12 weeks after testing positive — is a legitimate concern.

As of Sept 16, there are fewer than five people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Nunavut, according to Health Department spokesperson Chris Puglia.

A new vaccine, designed to protect against both the original COVID-19 and Omicron variants, will eventually become available to Nunavut’s general population.

For now, due to supply, it is limited to people aged 70 and older or who work or live in long-term care settings.

Patterson said he understands some might want to wait for that vaccine before getting a first or second vaccination or a booster shot.

But, he said, the original vaccine still offers strong protection.

“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 said.

In Nunavut, vaccination against COVID-19 is available for anyone aged six months and older.

On its website, Health Canada reports that between July 4 and 31 this year unvaccinated cases were five times more likely to be hospitalized compared to someone who had received their first and second doses, and seven times more likely to die from their illness.

Since the start of the pandemic in 2020, there have been 44,740 deaths from COVID-19 Canada-wide, according to Health Canada. Last month, Nunavut recorded its ninth death.

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(15) Comments:

  1. Posted by Itiq on

    When they first started rolling out the vaccines didn’t they have like a expiry like 12 hours after opening for Moderna? I remember even seeing a private charter plane just for the vaccines so they won’t expire. How bout pifizer? Didn’t they have to be in a freezer or it will go bad? I’m just concerned if their injecting expired vaccines into our bodies

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  2. Posted by Ovanga ovanga on

    Like the virus has a mind of its own, How do they even predict these types of things?

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    • Posted by Oh for god’s sake… on

      It literally says in the article that its based on data that shows an increase in cases when the weather turns colder and people spend more time indoors. Its the same reason the flu spreads in the fall and winter.

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  3. Posted by No thanks! on

    There is alot of “May” or “MayNOT” activities in life.

    Scare tactics to get medical procedures done to your life is over.

    I’m glad I never got the shot. Healthy as an musk-ox. Never was part of long line and didn’t listen to medical advices from total strangers.

    I will not live my life and get advices through being scared of life.

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    • Posted by Leave it to Beaver on

      I kiiinda think you did listen to medical advice from total strangers.

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      • Posted by John W Paul Murphy on

        And based upon a lot of misinformation from those strangers.
        You were very lucky to not have contracted that virus.

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    • Posted by John K on

      You did to take medical advice from strangers, lol.

      I can hear your tinfoil hat crinkling from here.

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      You have been very lucky. Here’s hoping that your luck doesn’t run out. This is a really bad virus to contract if you have never been vaccinated.

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  4. Posted by 867 on

    We were supposed to have a massive covid wave this summer too. What happened with that?

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    • Posted by Northern Guy on

      There was a massive Covid wave this summer and it hit Nunavut, where one person passed away. It would have been a lot worse if the vaccination rate had been lower.

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  5. Posted by Igunaaqi on

    Sad to see my people will believe and do anything the government tells them, bunch of sheep.

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    • Posted by Mostly you? on

      Aren’t you also a sheep? What’s the difference between you and them?

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      • Posted by S on

        The difference between sheep and leaders is that leaders question. Or:

        Science is based on the recognitionn that experts are fallible; religion on their infallibility

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