Yukoners over 18 can start booking appointments for their fourth booster. (File Photo)

Yukoners over 18 can start booking appointments for their fourth booster. (File Photo)

Second booster vaccines now available to Yukoners 18+

A second COVID-19 booster is now available to all Yukoners over 18.

To receive the booster, six months must pass since a person’s last vaccine shot. Yukoners are also instructed to wait three months after their last COVID-19 infection.

The first appointments will be available on July 13.

Whitehorse residents can book appointments immediately on Yukon.ca/appointments.

Rural Yukoners can get a booster at one of the ongoing community clinics. Those clinic dates are currently being planned, the Yukon government says.

The new recommendation for boosters comes from the Yukon’s new chief medical officer, Dr. Sudite Ranade. He began work on July 4.

“Vaccines offer the strongest protection against severe outcomes from COVID-19,” Ranade said in a statement.

“Getting a booster when you are eligible is important to ensure robust immunity, especially among people who may have higher risks for severe disease. I encourage all Yukoners to stay up to date on their vaccinations.”

Health Canada is also expected to approve COVID-19 vaccines for kids under five later this month. The health authority provided that update on Twitter on July 5.

Moderna’s submission for children aged six months to six-years-old is currently being reviewed, Health Canada said. That decision is expected in mid-July.

A submission from Pfizer-BioNTech for children six months to five-years-old is also being reviewed.

“As with all COVID-19 vaccines, Health Canada is prioritizing the review of these submissions,” the tweet says.

“Health Canada is responsible for conducting an in-depth review of the data to support the safety, efficacy and quality of any vaccine before an approval can be issued.”

Yukon’s latest booster recommendation comes amid country-wide concerns of a virus wave fuelled by Omicron variant BA.5. While no Yukon officials have commented on the virus in the past several months, the territory’s COVID-19 data dashboard shows a steady number of new cases – less than 10 each day – in recent weeks. The Yukon’s test positivity rate on July 7 was 41 per cent.

These numbers don’t account for the vast majority of people who test positive at home using a rapid test and do not report their result.

Contact Gabrielle Plonka at gabrielle.plonka@yukon-news.com