Yukon's chief medical officer of health told reporters that the territory is “well positioned” to allow residents to “live their lives close to normal” as they examine repeat or annual vaccinations for the population.
“COVID will become part of our lives”, remarked Dr. Brendan Hanley in a press conference earlier today, adding that “this disease is not going away.”
Here's what Hanley had to say about what's next for COVID in Yukon:
“I think there's still much to learn, and I think... it's clear that the challenge of global vaccination is huge, and will take potentially years to accomplish.
“And meanwhile, we will be in a situation where we will likely be seeing new variants and new episodes. So for sure, this disease is not going away. It's even hard to predict the end to the pandemic. We are definitely... well positioned for future openings, and the ability to live our lives close to normal... but definitely COVID will become part of our lives.
“And yes, I anticipate that we will be looking at repeat vaccinations and potentially even something like the flu vaccination, where there's a new formulation every year based on what's circulating. So yeah, that's really only what we think, at the moment, and certainly over the next few months... first we'll know more about how long this present vaccine lasts, and we know more every week about how different variants respond to... the different vaccine products.
“And we have new vaccines in the pipeline as well, which may have different characteristics, including one Canadian product, the Medicago vaccine. Anticipated for fall and beyond. So I think... lots to know and learn, especially as new variants come on the scene, and new vaccines, as well. And new studies, and durability of vaccines.
“I...we don't really know yet [but] yeah, it's gonna be around.”
Last week, Hanley stated that while “parents are a very important part of this picture,” minors who are capable of understanding and “expressing” their wishes are “able to give their own consent” for the COVID-19 vaccine.