Whitehorse Daily Star

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SHARING NEWS ON VACCINES – Seen left to right at Wednesday’s weekly COVID-19 briefing are new Health and Social Services Minister Tracy McPhee, Mary Tiesen, the territorial government’s American sign language interpreter, and Dr. Brendan Hanley.

Vaccines come under scrutiny in legislature

The question of how to handle so-called COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was on the mind of NDP Leader Kate White on Wednesday.

By Whitehorse Star on May 13, 2021

The question of how to handle so-called COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy was on the mind of NDP Leader Kate White on Wednesday.

During question period, White vigorously questioned the Liberal government on how it plans to handle the issue, and move the general population closer to the 80-per-cent benchmark she alleged the government and medical officials want in order to achieve herd immunity.

“I think there’s a real opportunity right now to talk about vaccines and the numbers,” White said.

“We know things have slowed down and so the question is what can the Yukon government do to keep that going?

“We know that in some communities. there hasn’t been such a big uptake. What I’d like to see now from the Yukon government is to see what their plan is to increase those numbers.”

White said she would prefer to see the travelling clinics continue to the communities on a monthly basis “until we can get those numbers higher.”

She also suggested the government should be working with “champions of the communities” to raise the vaccine uptake.

“We need to make sure people can get vaccinated where they are.”

White said she’s concerned that with Yukon youth aged 12-17 becoming eligible for the Pfizer vaccine next month, those problems might continue to worsen.

“It’s unclear where that vaccine outreach is going to go to every community,” she said. “It makes more sense to have those vaccine teams to go into the community to have access to as many people as possible.”

White said she preferred to see that, instead of people having to travel into Whitehorse with a child for the vaccines when the total travel cost wouldn’t be covered.

Vaccine hesitancy was also a subject of conversation during the COVID-19 briefing held Wednesday.

The chief medical officer of health, Dr. Brendan Hanley, was quizzed on how to address the issue, possibly even by paying people to take the vaccine. It’s an approach that’s stirring more debate nationally and internationally.

It’s also an idea he wasn’t enthused about, saying it could be construed as coercion.

“That’s a complicated question. I would say it brings up all kinds of issues of equity and injustice and the possibility of over coercion – perhaps there are other ways to look at other types of incentives,” Hanley said.

“It would bring up questions about those who have been vaccinated already. It would also raise questions about are you coercing people.

“I think we need to be very careful when we go into the line of pushing people or coercing more than they might otherwise have gone and I think our approaches based on conversations and addressing specific questions and looking for other kinds of incentives (are the way to go).”

Some people, Hanley added, “have been holding back for individual benefit, and that’s normal.

“I want to add, it’s important for us to remember we have been wildly successful with vaccines.”

On May 6, the Yukon Party noted Wednesday, it pressed the government about the potential of bringing the Pfizer-BioNtech vaccine to the Yukon. The previous day, Health Canada had approved the Pfizer vaccine for use for young people aged 12 and up.

The Yukon Party pointed out the Northwest Territories had negotiated an exchange of Moderna vaccine with British Columbia to import and start vaccinating youth with the Pfizer vaccine last week.

“Students, parents, teachers and school staff have done a tremendous job this school year navigating the pandemic,” Education critic Scott Kent said Wednesday.

“With students aged 12 to 17 now able to get vaccinated in the near future, this will help as educators prepare for the 2021-2022 school year over the summer months, as well as keep our youth healthy and safe,” said Kent, a former Education minister.

“The Yukon Party was happy to advocate for this so that the territory’s students and children could begin to be vaccinated.”

Comments (27)

Up 0 Down 0

Martin Blakesley on Jun 13, 2021 at 9:06 am

DL on May 18th: "Big pharma is suppressing information about Ivermectin's success, as it would cut into their vaccine mega-profits." Actually, Ivermectin is mass-produced by American international pharma giant MSD (Merch, Sharpe and Dohme), and it advises against use of non-antiviral Invermectin as a treatment for Covid-19:

"KENILWORTH, N.J., Feb. 4, 2021 – Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, today affirmed its position regarding use of ivermectin during the COVID-19 pandemic. Company scientists continue to carefully examine the findings of all available and emerging studies of ivermectin for the treatment of COVID-19 for evidence of efficacy and safety. It is important to note that, to-date, our analysis has identified:

No scientific basis for a potential therapeutic effect against COVID-19 from pre-clinical studies;
No meaningful evidence for clinical activity or clinical efficacy in patients with COVID-19 disease, and;
A concerning lack of safety data in the majority of studies.

We do not believe that the data available support the safety and efficacy of ivermectin beyond the doses and populations indicated in the regulatory agency-approved prescribing information."

One assumes that this pharma giant has decided, in the interest of the common good, to go with the science and cut into it's own mega profits.

Up 2 Down 0

Joe on May 19, 2021 at 9:46 pm

It’s ironic that we feel it’s ok to coheres Canadians who personally choose not to take a vaccine. In the Yukon, it’s give or take 25% who have chosen not to take the vaccine, good for them, their body their choice yet we’re ok with the NDP party,who has less than 25% of Yukon voters support, to run the territory- that’s ironic.

Up 10 Down 5

DL on May 18, 2021 at 10:55 pm

Requiring vaccination to allow traveling without quarantine is vaccine coercion. This is in violation of the medical oath. Doctors are bound by their medical oaths to provide all information about all available treatment options. However, there has been complete silence by the Canadian public health system about the efficacy of Ivermectin for preventing and treating covid-19.

Big pharma is suppressing information about Ivermectin's success, as it would cut into their vaccine mega-profits. Ivermectin has safely been used for decades, is cheap and widely available. It can be manufactured as a generic since its patent expired years ago.

Several countries around the world are now successfully using Ivermectin for the prevention and treatment of covid-19. But Canadians are kept in the dark about it.

Look up the USA group of doctors named “Frontline Covid-19 Critical Care Alliance”. Their website is listing the studies and cases demonstrating that Ivermectin has successfully prevented or treated covid-19.

Up 18 Down 11

motive unclear on May 17, 2021 at 4:49 pm

For many of us who realize this is not a vaccine at all, but an unproven human genetic modification experiment, it is not "vaccine hesitancy" it is flat out revulsion/rejection. Some of you professionals do not seem to understand "it's my body and my choice", or does that not apply in this particular case?.

Up 15 Down 4

yukongirl on May 17, 2021 at 4:19 pm

The simple solution for the youth vaccine in rural Yukon is to send the vaccine to the communities and let the public health nurses organize their own clinic in their own community. They are very good at their jobs so let them do it. It would be much more cost efficient than sending a whole team out to travel the territory for what is less than 100 youth in many communities.

Up 23 Down 3

Groucho d'North on May 17, 2021 at 12:14 pm

Coercion, influencing, selling the cure, call it whatever you want, the fact is the public has a shrinking level of trust for the things politcians tell us about this pandemic. Why? Because they have been caught lying to us in the past about many different things and undeterred by being caught at it, they continue to be less than truthful, or withhold information asked of them.
Granted at the beginning of this pandemic little was known about the virus and how to best deal with it. Political leaders often were found to be contradicting what they said yesterday about social distancing, if masks help or don't, or how all will be well once more when the vaccine becomes available. From the git go the elected talking heads have done little to inspire confidence, as if they know what they are talking about and we should heed their directions.
Simply put: the public has little to no faith in what the politcians are saying or reccomending. Now the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) in the USA are saying once you are fully imunized you no longer are required to wear masks; and what is the message from the Canadian medical professionals today? They (the elected types) are dodging that question because they can't all decide on an answer that meets THEIR needs.

Up 16 Down 13

Humble Measure on May 17, 2021 at 11:34 am

Matthew - I am worried because my youngest child is not eligible to be vaccinated.
I am worried because I haven't seen my elderly mother in over a year, and she's not doing well at all in confinement.
I am worried because it's looking like we won't be able to travel outside the territory this summer, because the impact of self-isolating with a small child for two weeks at both ends of the trip would be too onerous.
I am worried because the long term cardiovascular damage caused by a Covid infection is alarming.
Yes, I am worried...

Up 25 Down 8

NickyB on May 15, 2021 at 5:37 pm

The CMO admits that coercion is being used:
"I would say it brings up all kinds of issues of equity and injustice and the possibility of over coercion – perhaps there are other ways to look at other types of incentives,” Hanley said.
He condones coercive incentives, but cautions against "over coercion".

Denying our Charter Rights for non-compliance without providing medical science data to justify action is a perfect example of "over coercion".

Up 27 Down 7

concerned on May 15, 2021 at 12:16 pm

Coercion has already been utilized right from the outset. Wear a mask, and comply with the public health protocols or "choose" to not participate in nearly every realm of society. From your job, to shopping, school classes, group gatherings or any indoor activities. The message has consistently been: comply or don't participate. That's the definition of coercion, which means that choice is therefore a false construct that no longer exists.
Freedom of association is something that is now mocked; this individual liberty and all others now scoffed at with the neologism of contempt phonetically titled "free-dumb." Rome collapsed under the same weights of its decadence, characterized by a populace saturated by entertainment and slothfulness. This eventually leading to docility and a public that becomes easily malleable. Freedoms given up in exchange for so-called "public protections." It is the story of every empire the has come and gone through the ages. The focus has recently been on vaccine statistics and compliance, so much so that it has created a red herring in terms of the coercive compliance that has already taken place for well over a year now. Yet, taken further, the coercion created by authorities has been a tool of manipulation that has always been utilized to maneuver the masses of humanity in the direction that is desired. This is nothing new! "Herd immunity" is not so much a state of physical protection, as it is one of psychological unification. The slogan of "We're all in this together" in actual translation would read more like, "We are all thinking along the exact same lines. There is no room for mental dissention. There can only be conformity."
It is to create immunity against the individual who is seen as a rebel - a "diseased" spirit whom does not silence their inner authority and whom dares to question the external authorities. A "diseased" spirit that does not just fall in line with the mental oligarchy of the state, and is constantly held upon the fires of contempt by their peers who have given up on their spirit and have decided it is in their best interest to exchange their individuality for 'herd immunity.' Those who jeeringly say that the world is getting continuously smaller for the non-compliant, are unable to see that there is an unseen world for those very few rebellious individuals that is becoming far greater.

Up 16 Down 5

The new normal on May 15, 2021 at 11:06 am

Ahh, remember the old days when Kate White would talk and nobody listened. Now when she talks it’s a news story. I guess this is just part of the new normal.

Up 4 Down 24

Patti Eyre on May 14, 2021 at 3:56 pm

For once, I agree with Wilf Carter! We need to confirm whether people are telling the truth or not. Because people lie all the time. Don't they?

Up 30 Down 27

Jermaine Jackson on May 14, 2021 at 1:48 pm

Will never get a vaccine! Lots of ppl won’t be getting and no amount of free beer or other gimmicks will persuading us. The healthy don’t need junk.

Up 11 Down 17

Wilf Carter on May 14, 2021 at 1:40 pm

The Yukon and Federal governments has not set up a network so if someone is fully vaccinated from any other province we can't prove it so they will not be let into Yukon. Why is the liberals not telling Yukoners that. This just came in from our Federal government and they are not working with all regions of Canada to develop this network to confirm someone is actually telling the truth.
Now you have CDC saying if you are fully vaccinated you don't have to wear a mask in public.

Up 38 Down 20

Matthew on May 14, 2021 at 8:22 am

Answer me this please:
If you're vaccinated and I'm not, why are you so worried!?
*crickets*

Up 13 Down 23

Wes on May 14, 2021 at 7:35 am

I don’t know which is more pathetic, JSMs comments or that 38 people give it a thumbs up.

Up 23 Down 8

DMZ on May 13, 2021 at 10:19 pm

@Nathan Living, Kate isn't interested in pressing on actual problems anymore. For all we know, the Liberals are writing her questions.

Want more vaccine uptake? It's simple. Tell people they can take off the masks when they're fully vaccinated. Not this "that will be the last restriction lifted" nonsense. The last restriction that never lets us forget this dystopian reality. I'm fascinated to see what the effect is in the US.

Up 25 Down 25

MikeC on May 13, 2021 at 8:28 pm

Vaccine Passports required to travel. That’s the future boys and girls..is that a good enough reason to get vaccinated. If not your choice but your bubble just got a whole lot smaller

Up 32 Down 16

iBrian on May 13, 2021 at 6:37 pm

So, how about the fact I have had Covid19. Why should I get the shot? I already have built a natural immunity. I don’t get Flu shots. Why would I get this flu shot?
Had enough of all this BS. Would point out the obvious, but too many people have blinders on.

Up 23 Down 16

NickyB on May 13, 2021 at 5:26 pm

Many Canadians who are vulnerable to life-threatening complications if they catch Covid are unable to get the Covid-shots they want because the government has so badly mismanaged the Public Health portfolio. Meanwhile in the Yukon, the government is planning to coerce children aged 12-17 to take the shots. This age group is the least likely to get Covid or suffer complications from it.

This seems like a questionably unnecessary, wasteful, and potentially dangerous experiment on children, with an unproven/untested drug, especially when so many vulnerable Canadians desperately believe they need to be vaccinated for Covid and can't get the shot.

Up 17 Down 11

bonanzajoe on May 13, 2021 at 5:05 pm

The media is sure giving Katey a lot of coverage and exposure since the election. Will she be given the title of Premier soon? Watch your back Sandy. But then, you deserve it.

Up 41 Down 24

Nathan Living on May 13, 2021 at 4:48 pm

Yukon is a model based on generous vaccines from the federal government and prompt and aggressive clinics from Yukon health.

If there is vaccine hesitancy more public education is required.
This is not a major issue Kate.

Up 37 Down 24

Last of the modernas--- on May 13, 2021 at 4:46 pm

"the world will get progressively smaller to those folks."
Yep. But there is a huge disinformation surrounding 5G, vaccines, and the "requirement."
Notice how the "hot button" discussion was 5g, huawei, and the new towers coming in. And how suddenly that has fallen by the way side?

*puts on tin foil hat* (which doesn't work by the way)

Did anyone pay attention to the Wuhan Flu and how it shut down protests in Hong Kong for democracy? Does anyone remember that? There are so many elements that aren't being discussed and Facebook + media does a very strong job of providing "dead" information that is written poorly but is easily ingested. People don't want the truth because it is complex and requires thinking. Much easier to say, if you do this good things, if you do this bad things. The thought process can remain opiated.

Up 75 Down 36

Hesitancy agreed --- on May 13, 2021 at 4:40 pm

There is an agreement in the social contract that we give up a bit of freedom for the general good. I believe that I have given up enough. I'd like to see others do better in their lives so that society can do better. HOWEVER, when you have overweight alcoholics who smoke cigarettes tell me how to take care of my body and how a vaccine (sorry you're suddenly experts with your high school educations) is the answer. No thanks. I wouldn't trust this group in power as far as I could throw them. At 120lbs, I don't think I could toss them an inch. This population needs to get it out of their head that the government wants what is best for you. It doesn't. Look at the crap coalition we have that no one voted for.

Up 99 Down 29

Hesitant on May 13, 2021 at 4:18 pm

As one of the persons questioning the vaccine my main hesitation is because of how politicized the vaccination effort has become and the wishy washy information they give us and then change. First it was "get vaccinated and you'll protect others" then it was "oh but even if fully vaccinated you could possibly transmit the disease so keep your mask on" to "75% herd immunity" to "75% of each age group now".
I can honestly tell you that the more the government gets involved in trying to coax me into the vaccine the more it pushes me away. I wish they left the majority of this to the health professionals (and I'm not talking about the highly paid CMHO's as their exorbitant salaries in this situation make me sick). I would have been much more comfortable getting the honest non-political view of my family doctor at the beginning. Then on top of that you express a slight hesitation about the vaccine because you were taught to question things and make your own decisions rather than blindly following the status quo and you get attached by the rest of the public, called selfish, anti-vaxxer, stupid, etc. and get put down. Which again has the opposite effect and makes me more hesitant. Now I feel like I am relegated to being a second class citizen all because I just want to wait and see what long term effects are before I make my decision (but rest assured you are all quickly making it for me). I guess my body my choice only matters when it is convenient.

Up 63 Down 29

Last of the Modernas on May 13, 2021 at 4:03 pm

Kate. Calm down. We have some of the best vaccination rates on the planet.

Some folks just won't get it and that is their choice, the world will get progressively smaller for those folks.

Up 69 Down 23

Max Mack on May 13, 2021 at 3:41 pm

"It’s also an idea he wasn’t enthused about, saying it could be construed as coercion."

Like eliminating the quarantine requirement for travellers that are "fully vaccinated", but still requiring those that haven't been "fully vaccinated" to self-quarantine for 14 days? You mean THAT kind of coercion?

Up 52 Down 41

JSM on May 13, 2021 at 2:51 pm

"What more can we do to indoctrinate the youth" Next thing you know the Communist manifesto will be required reading in the highschools.

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