Nunavut to begin COVID-19 vaccines for children under five

Press Release

Iqaluit, Nunavut (July 15, 2022) – Today, the Department of Health is announcing it will begin COVID-19 vaccinations for children younger than five years old following Health Canada’s approval for administration to this age group. The Government of Canada has allotted Nunavut 1,100 doses for its first shipment, which is expected to arrive next week.

“With approximately 6,000 children under five years old in Nunavut, vaccinations will begin with those who are four years old, and children most at risk of severe COVID-19 infections,” said Dr. Michael Patterson, Nunavut’s Chief Public Health Officer. “The vaccine for children in this age group is a lower dosage than the vaccine for older children and is proven to be safe and effective. Second doses will be administered eight weeks after the first dose.”

The following children are eligible for the vaccine:

  • Four-year-olds.
  • Those between six months old and four years old who:
    • Are considered to have an immunosuppression;
    • Have severe lung disease;
    • On long-term steroid treatment; and/or
    • Undergoing treatment for cancer.

“Today, we can finally work toward vaccinating all Nunavummiut. The approval of the vaccine for our youngest children is just in time to allow us to increase our vaccine uptake in time for winter,” said Minister of Health John Main. “I encourage everyone to get their kids vaccinated and to get themselves up to date on their vaccinations. It is predicted that there will be another wave of COVID-19 this fall and winter. Together, with the vaccine, we can reduce the risk of future COVID-19 outbreaks.”

It is not uncommon after receiving the vaccine for children to have a sore arm, feel tired, have a headache, experience minor muscle pain, chills or fever and nausea. These side effects should go away in a few days.

COVID-19 vaccines for all Nunavummiut aged five and older continue to be available. Contact your health centre or Iqaluit Public Health to make an appointment.

For all the latest information on COVID-19 in Nunavut, go to: https://www.gov.nu.ca/

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Media Contact:

Chris Puglia
Manager of Communications
Department of Health
867-975-5949
[email protected]

IHT5

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