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Getting vaccine into arms; second Moderna clinic a success in Rankin Inlet

Rankin Inlet Fire Department members Darren Makkigak, left, Aqpa Kasaluak, Meagan Netser and Mark Kappi send thanks to the vaccination team and local volunteers who made the second Moderna vaccine against Covid-19 mass clinic in Rankin Inlet such a huge success this past week. photo courtesy Andrea Mercredi

Rankin Inlet hosted its second mass vaccination clinic this past week, which saw 1,242 people receive their first or second shot of the Moderna vaccine against Covid-19.

Hamlet senior administration officer Darren Flynn said the hamlet was more than happy with the second great turnout of people to receive the vaccine in Rankin.

He said anyone who still needs their second shot or wants to get their first shot can contact the hamlet office for further information as it becomes available.

“People just want to get back to a normal life here in Rankin, that's really all there is to it,” said Flynn.

“We had 1,181 come out for the first mass vaccination clinic, and this time we had another 1,242 come out, so, we, more or less, got everyone needing their second shot after the original clinic, plus some additional folks for their first shot. So, more than anything else, I think this shows people are just craving to get back to normal with their lives.”

Country food distribution

Flynn said the hamlet will be distributing country food around the community this coming weekend in its continuing efforts to lessen the strain of the pandemic.

He said the hamlet is still working on the final logistics of the country food distribution, which will bring an end to the funding allocation it was given for food security in the community.

“Once we distribute the country food — Arctic char, caribou and chicken breasts that are being donated to the community by our local food bank — those funds will be pretty much exhausted.

“I'm not hearing anything around the community in so far as any heightened fears, or what have you, because of the second outbreak in Arviat. We're very supportive of Arviat and wish them God's speed in getting through this.

“It just goes to show, here in Rankin, we've been very fortunate. If the conditions had been slightly different, we probably would be in a situation similar to Arviat right now.

“We support everything the Hamlet of Arviat and the people of Arviat are trying to do to get rid of this. But, like everybody's been told from the very beginning, it's a tough bug and all we can do right now is wish them the very best in beating this.”

Flynn said Arviat is doing the best job it can, considering what it's been forced to deal with.

He said it's hard to say why Rankin has been so successful in keeping the virus out after its first invasion into the community.

“Maybe the way the whole town just shut right down when the first case was announced here was a pivotal factor in keeping he number of active cases in the community relatively low.

“The shutdown here was instant. If things had continued on as normal for another day or two and people attended a few things, like the Remembrance Day ceremony, it would have been a whole different situation here.

“All it would have taken is one super-spreader event like our Remembrance Day ceremony and we would have found ourselves in the same situation as so many other places.”