The Government of the Northwest Territories has provided more than 50,000 of the Moderna vaccine but very few have resulted in “adverse events.”

Chief public health officer of the NWT Dr. Kami Kandola said this week that the territory has statistics up to June 1 which show that 53,665 doses of COVID-19 vaccinations have been given to NWT and Out of Territory residents.

Very few of them resulted in what are known as “adverse events following immunization” or AEFIs.

The territorial government defines an AEFI as an incident that results in a severe reactions called anaphylaxis.

“The vaccine delivery has proven to be extremely safe as there were 10 AEFI related to anaphylaxis,” she said. “The data set of the Northwest Territories is extremely limited due to our population size.”

In the cases of those who did have an allergic reaction to the first dose, the territorial government has asked the patients to postpone receiving further vaccine doses until assessed by an allergist, Kandola said.

Health professionals maintain that even if allergic reactions take place following the first dose, it is unlikely that the severity of that reaction will take place in the second dose.

“This is a serious and frightening experience for those individuals that experienced this (anaphylaxis) but it is rare that a second reaction will occur from a second dose,” she said.

This recommendation follows advice from the National Advisory Committee on Immunization which states that most people experiencing allergic reactions after the first Moderna shot “experienced no, or mild, reactions after a second dose of an mRNA Covid-19 vaccine,” Kandola said.

No events following immunization have resulted in anyone dying in the Northwest Territories, either, Kandola said.

“In the Northwest Territories there have been no deaths resulting from any of the anaphylaxis events or any other reported AEFI,” she said.

Vaccination policy

NNSL Media asked the Department of Finance how many healthcare workers are fully vaccinated to date and how many have yet to be fully vaccinated. The department was also asked if there is any foreseen job layoffs or job reassignments to some health care employees due to the GNWT’s employee vaccine policy.

The department was unable to provide a number of those workers already vaccinated or what the impact might be but maintained that they are still being asked to provide a proof of vaccination to their employers by Nov. 30.

“The GNWT’s employee vaccination policy is different than many of those being implemented in other parts of Canada,” said Sean Feretycki, a spokesperson with the department.

“The results of similarly named policies in other parts of Canada are not necessarily relevant to the NWT.”

The GNWT has stressed that the term ‘mandatory’ has not been used in the government’s Employee Vaccination Policy as accommodations are being made for those hesitant to get the vaccine until they are fully vaccinated.

“Employees who choose not to be vaccinated, who are not fully immunized or do not provide proof of vaccination by Nov. 30, 2021, will be required to undergo regular testing for Covid-19 and may be required to wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the workplace until they are fully vaccinated,” Feretycki said.

Simon Whitehouse

Simon Whitehouse came to Yellowknife to work with Northern News Services in 2011. Simon obtained his journalism education at Algonquin College and the University of Ottawa.. Simon can be reached at (867)...

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.