Quebec government puts Nunavik at front of line for COVID-19 vaccines

Region’s leaders reluctant to go first and “would rather wait for southern cities and regions to get started,” says director of public health

A work crew prepares a platform to set up a new tent outside of the Tulattavik health centre in Kuujjuaq last month, for health-care workers to administer COVID-19 tests, and potentially vaccines. (Photo by Allen Gordon)

By Sarah Rogers

Although Nunavik residents will be among the first offered the COVID-19 vaccine, Nunavik’s director of public health says many in the region are hesitant about it.

“Some local stakeholders have expressed the preference to not be the initial recipients of the vaccine and would rather wait for southern cities and regions to get started,” stated Dr. Marie Rochette in an email to Nunatsiaq News.

The Quebec government made the announcement about vaccine distribution earlier this week. Residents of isolated communities, including Indigenous ones, will be prioritized alongside seniors in long-term care homes and health-care workers.

Isolated communities are prioritized, given most have no intensive care facilities, very few hospital beds and many people who are vulnerable to respiratory diseases.

The government expects to begin deploying its first round of vaccines at long-term care facilities in Montreal and Quebec City as early as next week.

The Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services said it’s preparing for a rollout in early 2021.

Rochette said the health board will share information about the vaccine through social media and radio, and field questions and concerns from people in the communities.

“Our objective is to start vaccination when the stakeholders, communities and health centres are ready,” she stated.

“Within the realm of what would be the best approach for the health of Nunavimmiut.”

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(13) Comments:

  1. Posted by Nunavimiuk on

    My leaders don t speeck for me , i ll take it right now , i m tired of wearing a mask , washing hand and distancing

  2. Posted by Hand Washing Is A Thing and Always Has Been on

    I have nothing to say about the mask and distancing, but being tired of washing your hands? What did you do pre-covid?

    • Posted by obsessive compulsive on

      i used to think i was obsessive compulsive with my hand washing, but apparently it saved me many days of being sick or made me sick allot less, (howevere you look at it). now it is considered a healthy thing to do. point being, im not that wierdo washing my hands anymore. im just a regular guy.

  3. Posted by Hesitant on

    Hesitancy to vaccines has been so since vaccination first came about. It’s always those that are conspiring about everything in life. Dr Rochette, you must know this, so what’s your point? Is your point being since some are against the vaccine, it shall not be administered? I would take that vaccine Immediately, Inuit need that vaccine.

  4. Posted by Stakeholders on

    Who are the stakeholders, is it us, the common mask wearing , hand washing, distancing people? Or is it the excuse for our leadership that keeps us in the past? Just wondering.

  5. Posted by Inuk on

    Praise to Dr. Marie Rochette. Vaccines take years and even decades to properly develop. This vaccine took less than a year.. I trust my immune system a whole lot more than private corporations or the government on this matter. Just over 99% survival rate after getting infected. You can have my dose. I will never take this vaccine. Im afraid the government and businesses will use coercion to enforce this vaccine. For example; they will say to you”if you want to travel or keep your job or have access to health care services you will need to take this vaccine. It’s coming folks and alot of people are gullible so they will take it in a heart beat. I appreciate your intelligence and caution Dr. Marie Rochette and I’m glad you are looking out for Nunavimmiut. Thank you.

    • Posted by The Old Trapper on

      Actually the mortality rate is 2.95%, (13,250 deaths in 448,841 cases) as of yesterday according to the CBC website.
      Maybe you are one of the people that is under 30? If so congratulations you are probably in the <1% group. If you're over 30, have ever smoked, have high blood pressure, diabetes, lung issues due to living with mold, overweight, or any of the other multitude of issues, then you may be over the 1% group.
      And since 2.95% is just the average, that means that there are people over the average, mainly our seniors. Over 60, 70, or 80? Yeah it's not 2.95%, it's higher.
      I'm sad to hear that you will never take this vaccine. Coronavirus will probably be around for years and years, always in the background. You will likely die earlier than would otherwise be the case. Sure something else may kill you sooner, but if it doesn't then coronavirus probably will get you sooner or later.
      Now I could tell you that the vaccine is absolutely safe, but that's not true. There is always some risk, the one in a million, or one in 10 million that will have a bad reaction to something in the vaccine. Is it the genetic code for the spike protein? Unlikely. What is more likely is that a bad reaction would be caused by something that a person is allergic to outside of the core vaccine components. That appears to be the case with the Pfizer vaccine and the two early cases in the UK.
      As far as being able to get a vaccine in record time, simply science has come a long ways, and with a great need many countries and companies were participating.
      The longest lead times in previous vaccines has been arranging the financing for the research, developing the vaccine, stage 2 and 3 trials, approving it, and production.
      In this case, being a worldwide pandemic, the issue of getting financing was not a problem. Canada has backed at least 6 vaccines, either with funding or advance orders. The Pfizer & Moderna vaccines are a new type, mRNA which required less development time. There was no lack of volunteers (or lack of the disease) for trials. Vaccine manufacturers kept regulatory bodies up to date on trials so when they were unblinded the information was immediately available to regulators. Manufacturers started production well before trials were finished.
      All in all the process will be quicker for new vaccines but a lot of people worked together to ensure that there were no unnecessary delays. And there have been delays, but necessary ones when trials have been halted for safety reasons. It even looks like at least one candidate (I believe the GSK-Sanofi vaccine) is going back to the drawing board as it is not as efficacious as it needs to be.
      Now I'm no virologist, but I trust that those that are know what they are doing, that the trials are fair and honest. I also don't think that Bill Gates is including any microchips into the vaccine for his nefarious purposes (whatever they may be) so it should be safe to take from the "New World Order/Qanon" perspective. /s
      Do yourself a favour, talk to a medical expert about taking the vaccine, and keep an open mind. Also don't believe everything you see on Facebook.

      • Posted by Inuk on

        Respect to you Old Trapper. Your posts have always been informative on here. Ephesians 4:14. Yes, under 30. No facebook for years. I stand my ground. I will never allow a stranger to put anything in my body. I do not care if a person or a group of experts went to the very best schools in the world. Bill Gates is evil, yes. The rabbit whole goes deeper. “The great reset” just around the corner, world leaders all in on it. Dare I say on here that the scripture is true. Inuuqatii’ka, Kutiu uqausingi atuutitsialirmata kingullinginnii’katta nalliniqatta ammalu Atanittinu Jiisusi’mu Kutiu irninganu tutsiavalluta iluunnata tammatiuratta nunarjuami attanattukuuvanniaratta attanatsivalliatuinnalangatsunilu. Roman’s 10; 9,10. Titus 2:13. Luke 21:36. Revelation 3:11. John 14:2-3. Hebrews 4:12. 1 Corinthians 1:18. Psalms 118:8-9. Psalms 145: 18. Thank you for keeping an open mind, it shouldnt take long to do a bit of searching. This life is but a vapor after this comes eternity. Acts 16:31. Take care Old Trapper we have everything to gain with our Father in heaven through His Son Jesus Christ.

  6. Posted by Vaccine on

    It’s not up to dr rochette whether Nunavik gets this vaccine or not. And the gullible public neither. Or the stakeholders of Nunavik ( who’s they)? This vaccine program is being implemented by the careful consideration of the Quebec government, in accordance with full consultation with federal counterparts. Maybe those who refused to get vaccinated can exercise that right , I don’t know, but on the end of the day in this Covid time, I’m sure majority will gladly welcome the vaccine. I’m one, just watch me.

  7. Posted by John T on

    I read that the Territories (NU) may not get the vaccine soon because they do not have super cold freezers to store and dry ice to transport the vaccine. Well time to lease a freezer so we can get the vaccine when it is available. And make dry ice – frozen CO2 available – be ready and organized don’t wait.

    • Posted by UNGAVA on

      I guess global warming dosn t help . we could throw them in the snowbank.

  8. Posted by waiting on

    I will wait for few years to see if any of the Vaccine is working, I heard 14 death in UK, and six more the day after, so l will wait for few years until I see everyone is fine, than I might take it but than again I am fine, it is just a common cold, I don’t think we should be first since we are covid free zone, Wow I think the leaders are not able to lead on this, since we are covid free I don’t think we should be first.

    • Posted by Your what? on

      It’s people like you that go around saying you heard this and that , getting misinformation, and sharing it with others like yourself that keeps the chain of misinformation going and going. My rights and my common sense will not be deterred by such.

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