Medical Vaccine Exemptions, Travel and Workplace Testing

Public Notice

YELLOWKNIFE (October 21, 2021) – As local businesses, employers, and organizations start to require vaccine proof for access to services the  Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Authority (NTHSSA) is seeing an increase in requests for vaccine exemptions.

 There are two reasons a medical vaccine exemption would be issued to a resident:

  1. Anaphylactic (severe allergic) reaction. This may be issued temporarily until an appointment is able to be made with an allergist who can guide future shots.
  2. Myocarditis or pericarditis clearly related to previous doses of a COVID-19 mRNA vaccine

Currently these are the only reasons NTHSSA will issue vaccine exemptions to residents. If scientific evidence changes and further reasons for medical exemptions are determined to be the best course of action, these reasons may be considered.

NTHSSA providers will not issue vaccine exemptions for non-medical reasons, such as religious belief, personal objection to vaccines, or any other reason.

For any resident who is hesitant to get the COVID-19 vaccine we continue to encourage discussions with your healthcare provider as part of your decision making. COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, and remain the best possible protection against COVID-19.

As employers mandate vaccines there may also be requests for testing for employees who are not vaccinated. The NTHSSA does not have the capacity to support this testing and continues to reserve COVID-19 testing capacity for outbreak management to ensure testing, tracing, and isolation of symptomatic or potential COVID-19 cases. Those who require testing for reasons indicated in a Self-Isolation Plan related to travel are reminded to bring the document with you when presenting for testing to verify this testing purpose.

The same is true for travel related testing as Federal mandates for vaccination as a prerequisite to travel are implemented.  NTHSSA does not offer testing for travel purposes or for vaccine exemptions. Individuals must obtain testing outside of the healthcare system for these reasons, via private providers, at their own cost.