Yukon government won't publicly release community-specific vaccination rates yet

·3 min read
Yukon government won't publicly release community-specific vaccination rates yet
Premier Sandy Silver said during a Wednesday news conference on COVID-19 that the territory does not want communities 'pitted' against one another and 'having everybody speculating or pointing fingers.'  (Government of Yukon/Alistair Maitland - image credit)
Premier Sandy Silver said during a Wednesday news conference on COVID-19 that the territory does not want communities 'pitted' against one another and 'having everybody speculating or pointing fingers.' (Government of Yukon/Alistair Maitland - image credit)

The Yukon government says it won't publicly release the specific numbers of people vaccinated against COVID-19 in each community just yet.

Premier Sandy Silver said during a Wednesday news conference on COVID-19 that the territory does not want communities "pitted" against one another and "having everybody speculating or pointing fingers."

"I don't think that that's going to necessarily help the safety of Yukoners," Silver said.

In the first sweep through the communities for vaccine clinics, there was about a 53 per cent uptake, Silver says. In the second round, he says more people came forward for first time doses.

Silver says any numbers on the vaccination participation rate in each community will be left to local leaders to disclose.

"My extreme respect and gratitude goes out to chiefs and councils and mayors and councils that have been helping us in every community to maximize those numbers. We will leave it to them to do what they need to do," he said.

"We will continue to update the numbers for the averages for rural Yukon."

Chief Medical Officer of Health Doctor Brendan Hanley says the government is still gathering cumulative numbers on the vaccine rate in the communities.

More charges laid, state of emergency extended

There have been four new charges laid in Yukon relating to people not following COVID-19 measures.

Two of the charges are for failure to issue a declaration upon entry into the Yukon, one was for failure to self-isolate and another was for failing to wear a mask.

There are no active COVID-19 cases in Yukon.

"This is very comforting news," Silver said.

The territory has had 72 cases in total, with 71 recovered and one death.

Vaccine delivery

Silver says a large shipment of doses were received in the territory last week. On Monday, Whitehorse became the first capital city in Canada to open its COVID-19 vaccination clinic to all citizens aged 18 and older.

He says Yukon has had a greater per capita rate of people getting the shot than most other jurisdictions in Canada.

As of Tuesday, there had been 11,503 first doses given and 5,665 second doses given in the territory.

Silver says the vaccine is the pathway out of this pandemic, "but it will take time."

The territory's state of emergency was extended again, which Silver says allows the territory to enforce border controls and other restrictions.

Missed the live update? Watch it here:

No timeline for easing restrictions

Hanley is set to get a shot later this afternoon.

He says the closer the territory gets to the targeted number of people vaccinated in Yukon (75 per cent of adult population), the more confident he will be to ease up on restrictions. He says that will happen when it's safe but did not say when.

Eventually, he says that would include expanding ceremonies like funerals and weddings.

He says it's important for Yukoners to try to get their vaccines before variants of COVID-19 — which he says are a "real" threat — make their way into the territory, though he says for now, "we are in a good place."

"I know we're all becoming tired and sometimes maybe dismissive of the public health measures in place," Hanley said.

"Our efforts continue to pay off."