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COVID-19 Vaccination

All Nunavummiut five years old and older are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccination. Currently, Nunavut offers the Moderna SPIKEVAX for Nunavummiut aged 18 and over and Pfizer-BioNTech Comirnaty mRNA vaccines. For Nunavummiut 18 and older.

Vaccinating Nunavummiut is a vital step on Nunavut’s Path. It is one of the best defences we currently have against COVID-19.

The vaccine is not mandatory. No one will be forced to take the vaccine, and no one will receive the vaccine without consenting first.

The decision is an individual one, but one that will have a direct impact on our communities’ health and on Nunavut’s public health restrictions.

The Government of Nunavut (GN) will do its part to help Nunavummiut make this important decision by providing information about the vaccine as it becomes available. Vaccine administration and delivery will be based on the best available evidence and science. This approach will protect the health and well-being of all Nunavummiut.

 

COVID-19 Vaccine Dose Statistics

*Total vaccine doses administered is updated as regularly as possible but might be lower than the actual count.

Details/Limitations:

This information shows the number of doses given in a community as of November 30, 2021. The percentage of vaccine administered is vaccine administered divided by the Nunavut population estimate for 18 and older.

Territorial totals for doses are an accurate summary. The community level data is under review to ensure appropriate attribution. Community totals will be adjusted as needed.  This may lead to minor fluctuations in the percentages by community.

Doses are typically attributed to the community in which they are administered.

Total doses given will include residents and non-residents, including rotational workers.

Multiple communities represent individuals who received doses in two separate communities, or in communities that are not their place of residence.

An individual may have received dose 1 and/or dose 2 outside of their community of residence.

This does not account for people who may have been vaccinated partially or fully out of territory.

A high percentage in one community does not equal herd immunity. There is no established or defined percentage of what herd immunity is for COVID-19. Whatever herd immunity may be it cannot achieved with current vaccine approvals (e.g. no vaccine available for children under twelve).                       

Source:

Statistics Canada, Demography Division, Special tabulations. Prepared by: Nunavut Bureau of Statistics, January 27, 2021.

Dose numbers are from the Department of Health's Meditech system.

Eligible adults in community are defined as the number of individuals 18 and older as per the 2020 population estimates.

The community population estimates are "non-official" since they are not based on components of population growth (births, deaths and migration). They should be used with caution.

 

About the Moderna SPIKEVAX Vaccine

The first vaccine available in Nunavut was Moderna’s mRNA vaccine, which was later renamed SPIKEVAX. mRNA, stands for messenger RNA and is like a blueprint or recipe for one kind of protein your body manufactures. The Moderna vaccine delivers mRNA and teaches your body to make the proteins that will help defend you against COVID-19. mRNA vaccines cannot give you COVID-19 because they do not contain any part of the COVID-19 virus.

The Moderna vaccine is given in two doses – at least 21 days apart – and will be offered free to all eligible Nunavummiut age 12 and up.

Before approval, Moderna studied on 30,000 people, and was shown to be 94% effective at reducing the severity of infection due to COVID-19. While the vaccine does help reduce the risk of transmission, even after vaccination people can still spread the virus. Getting vaccinated is important to minimize the risk of transmission and to prevent severe illness in those infected. Even when vaccinated people should continue to follow public health measures

such as mask-wearing and hand-washing. These health measures are also effective at preventing most other respiratory infections.

Currently, the Moderna vaccine is not approved for use in people under the age of 12.

It is important that Nunavummiut inquire with their local health professionals prior to receiving the vaccine if immunocompromised, suffer from an autoimmune disease or have allergies to one or more ingredients in the vaccine.

Ingredients:

Medicinal ingredients:

(mRNA)

Non-medicinal ingredients:

• acetic acid

• cholesterol

• DSPC (1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine)

• PEG2000-DMG(1,2-dimyristoyl-rac-glycerol,methoxy-polyethyleneglycol)

• lipid SM-102

• sodium acetate trihydrate

• sucrose

• trometamol

• trometamolhydrochloride

• water for injection

 

Moderna Vaccine side effects:

Injection site reactions:

  • Pain at the injection site.
  • Tiredness.
  • Headache.
  • Muscle ache and stiffness.
  • Chills.
  • Fever.
  • Swelling or redness at the injection site.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes.

These are not all the possible side effects you may have when taking Moderna SPIKEVAX COVID-19 Vaccine. If you experience any side effects not listed here, tell your healthcare professional.

Should you develop any serious symptoms or symptoms that could be an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy).
  • Swelling of the face, tongue or throat.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Vaccination providers are prepared to quickly treat allergic reactions.

 

About the Pfizer Comirnaty Vaccine

Pfizer-BioNTech was the first COVID-19 vaccine available in Nunavut to youth between the ages of 12 and 17 and now children aged 5 to 11.. Pfizer, later renamed to Comirnaty is an mRNA vaccine, like Moderna, which teaches your body to manufacture a specific type of protein that will be used to help you develop a defense against COVID-19. Pfizer can also be given to adults

The Pfizer vaccine is given in two doses – 21 days apart – and is offered free to all eligible Nunavummiut between the ages of 5 and 17. If needed, Due to supply, Nunavut will be receiving only enough vaccine initially to administer one dose to 5- to 11-year-olds. To ensure enough vaccine is available, Nunavut will schedule second doses eight weeks after the first dose until supply is stable. Eight weeks between doses, falls under the guidelines from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization for effective protection agaisnt COVID-19.

Immunity develops over time. It takes about 2 weeks to develop significant protection against COVID-19. For the greatest protection, you will need more than one dose.

Initial Pfizer clinical trials included 38,000 people aged 16 and older and later trials added another 2,260 children aged 12 to 15. Prior to approval for children aged 5 to 11, clinical trails were done that included 3,000 children. This vaccine

has been shown to be over 95% effective at reducing the severity of infection due to COVID-19. While the vaccine does help reduce the risk of transmission, even after vaccination people can still spread the virus. Getting vaccinated is important to minimize the risk of transmission and to prevent severe illness in those infected. Even when vaccinated people should continue to follow public health measures such as mask-wearing and hand-washing. These health measures are also effective at preventing most other respiratory infections.

It is important that Nunavummiut inquire with their local health professionals, prior to receiving the vaccine if immunocompromised, suffer from an autoimmune disease or have allergies to one or more ingredients in the vaccine.

 

Ingredients (12 years old and up)

  • Medicinal ingredient
    • mRNA
  • Non-medicinal ingredients
    • ALC-0315 = ((4-hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
    • ALC-0159 = 2-[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]-N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
    • 1,2-Distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine
    • cholesterol
    • dibasic sodium phosphate dihydrate
    • monobasic potassium phosphate
    • potassium chloride
    • sodium chloride
    • sucrose
    • water for injection

Ingredients (5 to 11 years old)

  • lipids (4- hydroxybutyl)azanediyl)bis(hexane-6,1-diyl)bis(2-hexyldecanoate)
  • 2[(polyethylene glycol)-2000]- N,N-ditetradecylacetamide
  • 1,2-distearoyl-sn-glycero-3-phosphocholine,
  • cholesterol),
  • sucrose,
  • tromethamine,
  • tromethamine hydrochloride.
  • sodium chloride
  • water for injection

Side Effects

  • Pain at the site of injection.
  • Body chills.
  • Feeling tired.
  • Feeling feverish.
  • Swelling or redness at the injection site.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Enlarged lymph nodes.

 

These are not all the possible side effects you may have when taking Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. If you experience any side effects not listed here, tell your healthcare professional.

Should you develop any serious symptoms or symptoms that could be an allergic reaction, seek medical attention immediately. Symptoms of an allergic reaction include:

  • Hives (bumps on the skin that are often very itchy).
  • Swelling of the face, tongue or throat.
  • Difficulty breathing.

Vaccination providers are prepared to quickly treat allergic reactions.

 

Rollout

Nunavut began rolling out vaccines in December 2020 combining focused protection with mass immunization. The territory’s vaccination campaign began after Moderna was approved for Canadians aged 18 and over. Vaccinations in Nunavut began with elders and then rolled out to the rest of the population over the age of 18. By the middle of 2021, Pfizer was approved for children aged 12 to 17 and the Government of Nunavut used mass vaccine and appointment clinics to deliver vaccine to as many people as possible. By November 2021, Nunavut had successfully fully vaccinated 80% of the population aged 12 and over. As of November 19, 2021, vaccine was made available to children aged 5 to 11, an important step to increased protection as that age group comprised 15% of the territorial population.

Nunavut has developed a vaccination strategy based on the Government of Canada’s allocation of vaccine and shipping timelines.

After the vaccine is administered, patients will be properly notified to receive their second dose.

Anyone who received their first dose should receive a reminder from their health centre about their second dose appointment.As of the October and November, the Government of Nunavut, based on guidelines and evidence

from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization and the Public Health Agency of Canada, has started a third dose of vaccine for immunocompromised individuals and a booster shot after 6 months for all vaccine eligible Nunavummiut.

 

Resources

About the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

About the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine

COVID-19 Vaccine Clinics: What to Expect

 

For more information on vaccine clinics in your community: