The NWT government announced changes to its Covid-19 vaccination program on Tuesday to ensure all residents have “timely, equitable access” to a vaccine.
Starting immediately, people who are in isolation can now make a “self-isolation appointment” to get vaccinated without needing a letter from the chief public health officer.
There are a few exceptions to this however: if a person is a contact of a known or suspected Covid-19 case, if they are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, or if they are returning from travel outside of Canada.
Covid-19 vaccines will also now be available at every health centre in the NWT, although the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines may not both be available at the same time at each location.
Only the Pfizer vaccine is currently approved for youth 12 years and older, however youth in all of the NWT’s 33 communities have already been given an opportunity to receive this vaccine.
The territorial government also advised that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has said mNRA vaccines – which include the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines – can be used interchangeably. That means if someone’s first dose was Moderna, their second dose can be either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine.
The national advisory committee also stated the recommendations on the Covid-19 vaccines for people who are “immunosuppressed, have an autoimmune condition, or who are pregnant or breastfeeding” are now the same as those for the general population.
Over the coming weeks, NWT health authority staff will be calling those overdue for their second dose to provide information on where they can be immunized.