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Mine workers should schedule different rotations or wait for vaccine: NWT’s medical director

There are currently no plans to set up COVID-19 vaccine clinics for rotational mine workers who may miss their community’s date to be administered the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Friday, one Dettah resident was turned away from the vaccine clinic, because they would be working at a mine when they need to get their second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine requires two doses, taken 28 days apart.

Pegg said mine workers who are away on rotation should try and schedule with their workplace days to attend COVID-19 vaccine clinics in their communities.

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“The other option would be to wait and see if we get better data on a longer interval in terms of vaccine safety and efficacy,” said Dr. AnneMarie Pegg, the territorial medical director.

Pegg said the GNWT is awaiting research results which could change the number of days between doses of the Modena vaccine.

“There may be some scientific data coming out in the coming weeks, that would lend credibility to a potentially prolonged interval between the vaccine doses,” said Pegg.

The current schedule for COVID-19 vaccine clinics is aimed at administering vaccines to priority populations in the territory. Pegg said the GNWT is currently unsure about when the territory will receive additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Previously, the GNWT had said vaccines would be available for the general public in March, with vaccine clinics set to become more frequent as the territory receives more deliveries of vaccines.

“Once we have a better idea about our vaccine supply, and there’ll likely be more opportunities for those people to slot themselves into vaccine clinics that will coordinate a little bit better with their schedule,” added Pegg.

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