The federal government has confirmed that the Yukon will be receiving more Moderna vaccines in February, after a temporary shortage forced the territory to modify plans.
Under the new schedule, the territory will receive 16,100 doses in the last week of February.
“Today’s commitment is very good news for Yukon. We are happy to know more doses are coming and the mass clinic will be open for all eligible Yukoners. We will share more information about when Yukoners can book appointments shortly,” said a statement attributed to Premier Sandy Silver and Health and Social Services Minister Pauline Frost.
The Whitehorse mass clinic — which will be open to all adults 18 and over — was originally scheduled to open Feb. 10. It was delayed due to a shortage of the vaccine, but the government said it “will open in Whitehorse as soon as possible following the arrival of these doses.”
“Our planning teams are already at work to redesign clinic dates and delivery schedules so we can open up the Whitehorse clinic to all residents,” reads the government release.
The Yukon was originally scheduled to get 7,200 doses of the vaccine on the week of Feb. 1 to 7 but that shipment was reduced to 4,500 following a shortage of the Moderna vaccine.
Since after that announcement the federal government has announced that after a month-long slowdown due to manufacturing issues, they are set to receive a larger number of Pfizer vaccine doses. Weekly shipments of 400,000 doses will begin this week and last at least until April.
The federal government also said it has increased the number of Moderna vaccines ordered by four million shots.
In the meantime, the North will be receiving Moderna doses diverted from other provinces, including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. The territories have only been receiving Moderna, due to logistical issues with keeping the other vaccine in freezers, while the provinces have received a mixture of Moderna doses and Pfizer doses.
Currently, 10,604 Yukoners have received their first vaccine shot. Around 900 have received their second dose.
The mobile vaccination team will head to Old Crow on Feb. 19, Watson Lake on Feb. 22 and 23, and Beaver Creek on Feb. 25. Other communities will receive their second doses in March, while appointments for Whitehorse residents (including Ibex Valley, Mendenhall, Marsh Lake and Mount Lorne) over 70 years of age and high-risk healthcare workers are now open.
Whitehorse residents over age 60 will be able to book appointments in March.
Appointments for eligible residents can be booked online at yukon.ca/this-is-our-shot.
The Yukon government has also announced one new case and one probable case of COVID-19 on Feb. 12, bringing an end to the territory’s four weeks of COVID-free status. Four public exposure notices have been issued.
The cases are linked to an Air North flight originating from Vancouver. Case number 71 is a Whitehorse resident, linked to an outbreak at an industrial worksite outside the territory. Case number 72 is a Whitehorse resident, linked to a previous case.
Both are self-isolating and recovering, according to the Yukon government.
The following public exposure notices have been issued: Save-On-Foods on Feb. 11, between 12:30 and 3 p.m.; Air North flight 544 from Vancouver to Whitehorse on Feb. 7 between 11 a.m. and 2:25 p.m.; Canada Games Centre running track on Feb. 4 between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m.; and Whiskey Jack’s Pub & Grill, dining room and off-sales, on Feb. 8 between 5:45 and 7:45 p.m.
With files from Gabrielle Plonka
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