YELLOWKNIFE — The Northwest Territories says it will offer vaccinations against COVID-19 to young people between 12 and 17 starting Thursday.
The territory, which has only been using the Moderna vaccine, recently exchanged some of that for doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech product, which Health Canada has now approved for anyone as young as 12.
An N.W.T. news release says just over 1,100 Pfizer doses arrived in the territory from British Columbia on Tuesday.
COVID-19 cases are rising in Yellowknife and students were sent home earlier this week due to an outbreak at an elementary school.
That means the Pfizer vaccine will be available through online bookings for 12- to 17-year-olds in the capital.
It will not be offered to adults in the territory, but the Moderna vaccine is still available.
"Introducing a second product into the NWT’s inventory will allow for a more flexible, sustainable, and reliable COVID-19 vaccine program," the release says.
It also says more Pfizer doses are expected to arrive in the N.W.T. in the coming weeks.
"The (government of the) NWT decided on this proactive measure to expand vaccine eligibility, in part because of the increased prevalence of more contagious and deadly variants of concern, which pose a threat to the unvaccinated population and health system capacity."
There were two dozen active COVID-19 cases in the Northwest Territories on Wednesday.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 5, 2021.
The Canadian Press