N.W.T. expands eligibility for COVID-19 booster shots, case numbers hold steady

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Yellowknife residents 50 and over, and all other N.W.T. residents 40 and over, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Officials said residents can get a booster while they get their seasonal flu shot. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Yellowknife residents 50 and over, and all other N.W.T. residents 40 and over, are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster shot. Officials said residents can get a booster while they get their seasonal flu shot. (Ryan Remiorz/The Canadian Press - image credit)

N.W.T. health authorities are expanding the list of people eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster dose to include Yellowknife residents 50 and over, and all other territorial residents who are 40 and over.

Booster doses are available to people six months after they've received their second dose.

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority said the booster doses, along with flu shots, are available at Yellowknife's public health location at Centre Square Mall.

People can get both shots at the same time, the authority confirmed.

It added in a Thursday news release that the Yellowknife public health units will be operating at reduced services from Oct. 21 to Nov. 5 as it focuses on administering the shots.

"Public health will resume routine vaccination clinics and services following the end of the seasonal flu clinic in Yellowknife on November 5th," it said.

How to book the shots

The authority also said it encourages Yellowknife residents to book their appointment online.

"In all other communities, residents can access information on flu vaccines by visiting www.nthssa.ca/flu or by contacting their local health centre or public health office for details on local seasonal flu clinics," the release states.

The authority said booster doses are different than third doses. It said people who are immunocompromised may be eligible for a third dose and should let their healthcare provider know during their immunization appointment.

The authority also said it strongly encourages women who are trying to get pregnant, are pregnant or have just given birth, to get their COVID-19 vaccine.

It also stated it is receiving more requests for vaccine exemptions than it used, with the vaccine passport program about to begin.

It said there are only two reasons a medical vaccine exemption would be issued: one is because of an allergic reaction and the other is getting myocarditis or pericarditis from a previous dose.

Cases increase in Hay River and K'atl'odeeche First Nation, hold steady across rest of territory

The N.W.T. Office of the Public Health Officer reported 17 new COVID-19 cases across the territory since Wednesday and issued one public exposure notice for a location in Yellowknife.

The number of cases in the Northwest Territories stands at 256 Wednesday, an increase of two from yesterday.

The only communities to report an increase since Wednesday are Hay River and K'atl'odeeche First Nation. There are 39 cases reported in the communities Thursday, eight more than there were yesterday.

In Yellowknife, Dettah and Ndilǫ, there are 125 cases being reported, a decrease of two since Wednesday.

In Behchokǫ, the OCPHO is reporting 66 cases, two less than yesterday.

In Fort Good Hope, there is only one case being reported today, compared to two yesterday but in Whatì, there are now two cases, instead of one as was reported yesterday.

In all the other communities with cases, the numbers have not changed since Wednesday. There are 14 cases in Inuvik, six in Fort Simpson, three in Łutsel Kʼe and one in Fort Smith.

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