Too early to guide summer season journey exterior NWT, obtain guests, Kandola says
Don’t book summer trips to other parts of Canada just yet, said Dr. Kami Kandola, chief public health officer on Wednesday.
Despite the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines across Canada, particularly in the NWT, Nunavut and the Yukon, it is too early to make solid plans to travel to and from southern jurisdictions, she said.
“Wait until we get more data (on the vaccines). Wait for the next few months. Don’t book airline tickets, ”she advised. “Unfortunately, we also don’t know when the vaccine will be launched for the general population in Ontario (and other provinces). You can’t get their doses until September. We do not know yet. “
It’s too early to make plans to travel outside the NWT this summer as more needs to be known about whether Covid-19 vaccines can prevent the virus from spreading, said Dr. Kami Kandola, Chief Public Health Officer, in Wekweeti on Wednesday.
Blair McBride / NNSL Photo
Just minutes before she received her first dose of Moderna in Wekweeti during that community’s vaccination campaign on Wednesday, Kandola said the main unknown about vaccines is the type of protection it offers people.
“We know the vaccine will prevent this person from developing serious Covid disease. Some information we still need to know is: Can people who have been vaccinated still transmit Covid? If science and studies show that they do not transmit Covid, it changes the isolation pattern for people who have been vaccinated because then they will not be at risk of developing the disease themselves, but not risk spreading it, and they will be protected . So it will be a different scenario for these particular people. “
People should also take into account that it will take them at least six weeks to achieve the highest level of immunity to Covid-19, noted Kandola.
After the first required dose of Moderna, people are given the second dose 28 days later. It will take two more weeks for the vaccine to take full effect.
Her comments come just a week after telling MLAs in a standing committee meeting that travelers who are fully vaccinated and proven not to transmit Covid may be able to undergo self-monitoring and confirmatory tests instead of self-isolation.
“I hope that science and surveillance can answer this question in six weeks,” she said.
The vaccination campaign in the NWT took place from January 10th to 17th in the second full week. Since vaccinations for elders in Yellowknife and Behchoko began on December 31, vaccination teams have visited 20 communities.
According to the GNWT’s Covid-19 dashboard, NWT residents have been given at least 512 Moderna doses since December 31.