All Nunavut communities to get enough COVID vaccine for first doses by end of March

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IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut's health minister says all 25 communities in the territory are to receive by the end of the month enough COVID-19 vaccine so every adult who wants a first dose will get one.

Lorne Kusugak says the territory will receive its expected allotment of 38,000 Moderna doses by mid-March.

He says although the goal was to have first and second doses administered by the end of March, shipment delays mean second-dose clinics will extend into April.

A community-wide vaccination clinic will also launch in Iqaluit on March 15.

Starting March 10, people in the capital who are 18 and older can book an appointment to get a shot.

To date, 8,767 first doses have been administered in Nunavut and 5,144 people have received two doses.

"It is the best protection we have in Nunavut to prevent serious illness, hospitalization and death," Kusugak said Friday.

"This vaccine is a way to get things back to normal. It will allow us to gather, have fishing derbies, do community feasts, square dances and visit our elders more safely."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press