A COVID-19 rapid test shows a positive test result. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

A COVID-19 rapid test shows a positive test result. (Dana Hatherly/Yukon News)

COVID-19 boosters opening up to Yukon children ages 5+

31 Yukoners have died due to COVID-19

Children aged five and up are now eligible for COVID-19 boosters in the Yukon.

The Yukon government’s decision to expand boosters to younger children comes on the heels of Health Canada’s approval of the Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty booster dose and recommendations from Dr. Sudit Ranade, the territory’s chief medical officer of health.

“The risk of severe disease in children is very low and the booster provides added protection for some of our youngest Yukoners,” Ranade said in a Sept. 13 release.

“Staying up to date on all COVID-19 vaccinations ensures the strongest protection against the virus. I encourage all Yukoners to get their booster when they become eligible.”

Children will have to wait six months after completing their primary series. A booster is not recommended for those who recently had COVID-19 until at least three months have passed since symptoms started or testing positive for the virus.

“Vaccination remains our best protection against COVID-19 and helps keep our families, friends and communities safe,” Minister of Health and Social Services Tracy-Anne McPhee said in the release.

“I’m excited to share that boosters are now available to children ages five and over and I encourage parents to book an appointment for their child to help stop the spread of the virus as they return to school and regular activities.”

While 89 per cent of Yukoners aged five and up have one dose and 85 per cent have two doses, 45 per cent of the territory’s population ages 12 and older has not recieved three doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.

The current COVID-19 positivity rate in the territory is 33.1 per cent based on lab-based PCR testing only.

Another Yukoner has died due to COVID-19, bringing the territory’s death total to 31 since the beginning of the pandemic.

Across Canada, 44,347 COVID-19-related deaths have been tracked, according to the last dashboard update on Sept. 9.

Contact Dana Hatherly at dana.hatherly@yukon-news.com