NWT no longer committed to full herd immunity as benchmark

Health Minister Julie Green speaking at the Legislative Assembly. (Photo by Bailey Moreton/MyTrueNorthNow.com.)
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Health Minister Julie Green confirmed the GNWT is no longer committed to a specific target number for vaccine coverage to loosen up restrictions.

This comes three weeks after Green expressed doubt over whether 75 per cent of adults receiving their COVID-19 vaccine is enough.

“High vaccine uptake within our borders is just one of the deciding factors within our control that will help us get back to doing the things we love,” she adds.

Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Kami Kandola says the variants of concern changed their assurance that 75 per cent would give the territory herd immunity.

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“We need to move away from a fixed figure of reaching herd immunity because at this point, with the variants of concern, it’s very difficult now to say what that number would be,” she adds.

Kandola says the GNWT is going more towards herd protection, meaning they’re going to try to vaccinate up to 85 percent of adults.

“For this reason, additional vaccines have been requested from the Federal government for the second quarter of 2021, she adds.”

Kandola says the GNWT can’t reassure the people who aren’t vaccinated that a certain number means that they would be safe and that they wouldn’t have a risk of COVID.

“All we can say is the best way you can protect yourself from COVID if you’re eligible, is to get vaccinated,” she adds.

Kandola says clear indicators will be provided for relaxing restrictions moving forward when the updated Emerging Wisely plan is released later this month.

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