Downtown Iqaluit, Nunavut, is shown after 2 p.m. sunset on Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2020. Nunavut will look to get the Moderna vaccine once it is available in Canada. Chief public health officer Dr. Michael Patterson says Moderna is preferred because the cold storage and shipping of the Pfizer vaccine is too difficult in the northern territory. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Emma Tranter

Moderna COVID vaccine best for Nunavut because of storage, shipping: top doctor

IQALUIT, Nunavut — Nunavut is looking to get the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine once it is available in Canada.

The territory’s chief public health officer, Dr. Michael Patterson, says Moderna’s vaccine is preferred because the Pfizer one requires cold storage and shipping that would be too difficult in Nunavut.

Patterson says Iqaluit is the only community where it would be possible to store the Pfizer vaccine.

The territory’s rapid outbreak of COVID-19 continues to shrink.

Rankin Inlet, which once had 19 cases, is now fully recovered.

There are 44 active cases in Arviat, where Patterson says there is still evidence of community transmission.

Nunavut has a total of 51 active cases and 155 recovered cases.

Patterson says fewer than five Nunavut residents with COVID-19 have been air-lifted to a hospital in Winnipeg, where they are in stable condition.