Signage set up during a mobile vaccination clinic in Old Crow on Feb. 19. The Yukon government has recently released vaccine data for all Yukon communities. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Signage set up during a mobile vaccination clinic in Old Crow on Feb. 19. The Yukon government has recently released vaccine data for all Yukon communities. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)

Vaccine acceptance rates vary across the Yukon

Chief medical officer says vaccines for youth are on their way.

The territorial government has released a more complete picture of the acceptance of COVID-19 vaccines in the Yukon.

On May 17, the government announced that the territory has received a 76 per cent vaccination rate among eligible adults.

Dr. Brendan Hanley, the chief medical officer of health, provided a breakdown of vaccination rates in communities across the territory.

The data presented by the Yukon government shows a range of vaccine acceptance among eligible adults in the different communities.

On one end of the spectrum, Ross River saw only 33 per cent of eligible adults receive their first dose of the vaccine between Jan. 1 and May 1, and 28 per cent receive their second dose in the same timeframe.

Haines Junction and the Champagne and Aishihik First Nation (CAFN) have become the most thoroughly vaccinated communities in the territory. According to the Yukon government, 88 per cent of eligible adults received the first dose of the vaccine there between Jan. 1 and May 1 and 81 per cent were fully vaccinated by May 1.

In a May 10 statement celebrating the success of vaccination efforts in the community, the CAFN details a number of community efforts that supported the vaccine rollout. It mentioned proactive communication about the vaccines and vaccine clinics and easy access to vaccine information including Q&A sessions with the Haines Junction nurse in charge.

Assistance including help with booking appointments and rides to the clinic were also offered.

“Our goal is to make sure that every person who wants to get the vaccine has access and is able to get it,” said CAFN Chief Steve Smith.

“We’re very proud of our community members who have looked at the science, weighed the risks and benefits, and made the informed choice to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Dúch’į Shį – We will always do what we must do to ensure the safety of our people.”

The other communities in the territory range between 50 and 76 per cent of adults having received at least one dose of the vaccine.

Originally the government said it would not release detailed data by community, due to concerns that public pressure would pit different communities against each other.

On May 12 McPhee said that the decision to release more detailed information was made in consultation with communities.

“We have been regularly in touch with First Nations chiefs and councils, leaders in their communities, as well as with municipalities and their councils and mayors,” McPhee said. “They are best informed as to how we should interact with them and how we can work with them going forward to make sure that when decisions are being made, they take into account what the local situation is and what their wishes and desires and concerns are.”

Hanley said vaccine hesitancy is normal and predictable in a campaign like the COVID-19 vaccination. Although many people got their vaccine as soon as possible in what he called a “rush of enthusiasm,” he recognized that others are waiting for more time to pass and more information to become available.

“It’s not about blame. It’s not about not being successful. It’s about identifying, at the beginning, something that needs to be addressed,” said Hanley. “It’s about working with the ones who are in that gray area, the people that need more time and need more specific questions answered, to work with them to move them into the camp of comfortably receiving the vaccine.”

– With files from Haley Ritchie

Contact Jim Elliot at


Just Posted

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
Yukon logs nine new COVID-19 cases, 54 active cases

More CEMA enforcement officers have been recruited, officials say

Yukon paleontologists Grant Zazula (left) and Elizabeth Hall (right) examine mammoth fossils in Whitehorse on June 10. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Mammoth bones discovered at Dawson mine site

“So this is just a start, hopefully, we’re going to be learning a lot.”

Rodney and Ekaterina Baker plead guilty to offences under the Yukon’s Civil Emergency Measures Act for breaking isolation requirements in order to sneak into a vaccine clinic and receive Moderna vaccine doses in Beaver Creek. (Facebook/Submitted)
Couple who broke isolation rules to get vaccines in Beaver Creek fined $2,300

Crown and defence agreed on no jail time for Rod and Ekaterina Baker


Wyatt’s World for June 16, 2021.… Continue reading

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Yukon News file)
COVID-19 outbreak surges to 50 active cases in the Yukon

Officials urge Yukoners to continue following guidelines, get vaccinated

Jonathan Antoine/Cabin Radio
Flooding in Fort Simpson on May 8.
Fort Simpson asked for military help. Two people showed up.

FORT SIMPSON—Residents of a flooded Northwest Territories village expected a helping hand… Continue reading

A woman was rescued from the Pioneer Ridge Trail in Alaska on June 16. (Photo courtesy/AllTrails)
Alaska hiker chased off trail by bears flags down help

ANCHORAGE (AP)—An Alaska hiker who reported needing help following bear encounters on… Continue reading

Two participants cross the finish line at the City of Whitehorse Kids Triathlon on June 12 with Mayor Dan Curtis on hand to present medals. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
2021 Kids’ Triathlon draws 76 young athletes

Youth ages five to 14 swim, run and bike their way to finish line

NDP MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq rises in the House of Commons, in Ottawa on May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
‘Unacceptable’ that Inuk MP felt unsafe in House of Commons, Miller says

OTTAWA—It’s a “sad reflection” on Canada that an Inuk MP feels she’s… Continue reading

Lily Witten performs her Canadian Nationals beam routine on June 14. John Tonin/Yukon News
Three Yukon gymnasts break 20-year Nationals absence

Bianca Berko-Malvasio, Maude Molgat and Lily Witten competed at the Canadian Nationals – the first time in 20 years the Yukon’s been represented at the meet

For the second year running, the Yukon Quest will not have 1,000 mile race. Crystal Schick/Yukon News
The Yukon Quest will be two shorter distance events instead of a 1,000 mile race

After receiving musher feeback, the Yukon Quest Joint Board of Directors to hold two shorter distances races instead of going forward with the 1,000 mile distance

It’s been a long time since most Yukoners have seen downtown Skagway. (Andrew Seal/Yukon News file)
What Canada-U.S. border changes could mean for Alaska travel

The federal government is expected to make an announcement on Monday

A rendering of the proposed new city hall/services building and transit hub. (City of Whitehorse/submitted)
City building plans move forward

Council approves procurement going ahead

Most Read