Public Notice: Third Dose Vaccinations for Specified Frontline Workers and immunocompromised Individuals now offered

The Northwest Territories Health and Social Services Services Authority (NTHSSA) is now recommending a third dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines for people who are severely immunocompromised and essential front-line health care workers at high-risk of exposure in Yellowknife and Behchoko (prioritized for a third dose due to the ongoing COVID outbreak in these areas).

Immunocompromised: Members of the public are being asked to honestly self-identify if they meet the following criteria determined by the National Advisory Committee on Immunization. You are asked to  book vaccination appointments through your local health centre or online in Yellowknife. Individuals will be assessed by a nurse at the time of immunization to confirm eligibility.

You may be eligible for a third dose if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • You are undergoing current chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer
  • You have had an organ transplant and you are taking immunosuppressive medications as a result
  • You have had treatment for leukemia with a stem cell transplant or T-cell therapy in the last two years
  • You have a specific diagnosis of a severe B-cell or T-cell deficiency
  • You have advanced untreated HIV, or an active diagnosis of AIDS
  • You have an autoimmune condition and you are receiving injectable or intravenous immune suppressing therapy which includes cisplatin, rituximab (Rituxan), gemcitabine, infliximab (Remicade), etanercept (Enbrel), adalimumab (Humira), or others; or injectable or oral methotrexate
  • You have a condition for which you are currently being treated with oral or injectable steroid at a dose greater than 20mg per day of prednisone, for over two weeks

The following are not considered eligible for a third dose at this time:

  • People with autoimmune conditions (including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, inflammatory bowel disease and others) who are not taking one of the above medications
  • People with treated and controlled HIV
  • People with previous cancer or cancer on suppressive therapy like tamoxifen or leuprolide
  • People on less than 20 mg of prednisone daily, or people taking steroid medications that are inhaled, topical creams or ointments, or by local injection (like into a joint)
  • People on hormone replacement therapy  or thyroid replacement therapy
  • People with other chronic diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, asthma, COPD, heart disease, etc.

The group of people currently eligible for a third dose is limited to those at high risk of an incomplete immune response to the first two doses AND of severe disease and death if infected. Studies show that some people in this group who had a low or incomplete immune response to the first two doses may develop new or increasing protection against COVID-19 in response to a third dose.

Front-Line Healthcare Workers in Yellowknife and Behchoko: Third doses for essential healthcare workers are being authorized in Yellowknife and Behchoko only at this time. This is for staff who have direct and prolonged contact with individuals with COVID-19. It alsoincludes front-line RCMP and ambulance staff in these two communities. Specified frontline workers will receive a signed letter of authorization, which must be presented at the time of immunization. This third dose is being offered and recommended as an additional precaution for staff working in high-risk areas but is not mandatory.

Eligible individuals can schedule an appointment through their local health centres or in Yellowknife by booking an appointment online.

Updates will be provided regarding recommendations on third dosing for other populations in accordance with directions received from the Public Health Agency of Canada and the OCPHO as they become available.

To book in Yellowknife:

To book outside Yellowknife: