COVID-19 vaccinations for Yukon kids to start in early December: premier

Yukon Premier Sandy Silver addresses the audience during the Yukon government swearing-in ceremony at the legislature foyer in Whitehorse on May 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Mark Kelly

WHITEHORSE - COVID-19 vaccinations for children in Yukon between the ages of five and 11 will start in early December.

Premier Sandy Silver said Wednesday that being able to vaccinate kids is what the territory "has been waiting for" and he encouraged parents to get their children inoculated as soon as possible.

Yukon has 121 active cases and the territory's acting chief medical officer of health, Dr. André Corriveau, says health-care workers are seeing the rate of active cases beginning to drop.

The territory has also launched its vaccination verification smartphone app, which will help businesses confirm a person's vaccination status. Silver says no private data will be stored on the app.

He added that the territory is waiting for its supply of vaccinations to arrive in the coming days and he said the government is asking parents not to fall for misinformation on vaccination.

"We've been here for 20 months now talking about the efficacy of these vaccinations," Silver said. "If it's been approved by Health Canada, it's safe, it's effective."

Silver said hesitant parents should look at research highlighting the differing health outcomes of people who are vaccinated versus those who are not.

The Education Department is also informing children about vaccines and their use, he said.

Corriveau said children will wait eight weeks between their doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

There have been 1,454 COVID-19 cases in Yukon since the pandemic began, with 1,338 people recovering. There have been 12 deaths from the virus.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 24, 2021.

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