The Hamlet of Fort McPherson became the first community in the NWT to have 75 percent of its adult population fully vaccinated against Covid-19, according to most recent figures on the NWT Covid-19 dashboard.
Mayor of Fort McPherson Richard Nerysoo said “we’re happy about it.”
It’s a step toward the territorial government’s vaccination targets, outlined in the Emerging Wisely plan.
For Covid-19 leisure travel restrictions to be eased, the NWT’s adult population needs to be 75 percent fully vaccinated, while the Canadian population needs to be 66 percent fully vaccinated and the seven-day average of new Covid-19 cases needs to be under 1,000.
For Covid-19 restrictions to be completely removed across the NWT, 75 percent of the population 12 years and older need to be fully vaccinated, and 66 to 75 percent of the total NWT population need to be partially vaccinated, on top of similar national targets.
Nerysoo said while he recognizes that “the community is doing well” on vaccination uptake, it’s only one part of a larger strategy to protect the community from Covid-19.
“We still have to be vigilant, we have to pay attention,” he said.
As a border community and often the first point of contact for people entering the NWT from the Yukon, Nerysoo said Fort McPherson needs to “be even more concerned and more determined to keep our people safe.”
“And that includes … those people that have made the choice not to receive the vaccination.
“We have to worry about our next-door neighbour, we have to worry about our Elders, and keep our children always in focus in everything that we’re doing.”
As of July 13, 68 percent of adult NWT residents are fully vaccinated and 74 percent are partially vaccinated against Covid-19.
Yellowknife, Dettah, and Ndilǫ are only one percent behind Fort McPherson with 74 percent of adults fully vaccinated.
Colville Lake has the lowest vaccine coverage, with 20 percent of adults fully vaccinated.
Kakisa, Wekweètì, and Wrigley also have low vaccination uptake, with under 40 percent of their adult populations fully vaccinated.
Community vaccination data isn’t static. “When residents move, the vaccines move with them,” the territorial government explained in an email.
As a result, communities with smaller populations can see larger fluctuations in their vaccination coverage percentages when residency data is refreshed each month.