As provincial immunization programs take place, the first countries across Canada have begun to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, and Indigenous leaders are encouraging people to roll up their sleeves.
Maria Charleson, vice president of the Nu-Sa-Nult Tribal Council, which serves about 10,000 members, said last week that six of the 14 Nu-sa-Nult first countries on Vancouver Island had prioritized the dose of the modern-day vaccine.
The council uses nurses as one of the providers of the vaccine, so people see the familiar face of knowing and believing, he said.
Health officials need to work with communities to ensure that the COVID-19 vaccination program outlined in a recent report by former Judge Mary Ellen Durbel-Lafont is culturally appropriate.
“There are many in our communities our nurses have never seen before (because) they will never go to the rescue,” Charleson said.
Published in November, Durbell-Lafont’s report highlights a wide range of racial profiling based on the same types of harm that affect the care received by indigenous patients in British Columbia. Of the more than 2,700 indigenous people surveyed as part of the investigation, 84 percent reported experiencing some form of health-care discrimination.
It is understandable that many are reluctant to trust Canadian health officials, Charleson said, encouraging people to get vaccinated.
“If you don’t do it yourself, do it for the adults in the community and the vulnerable,” he said in an interview.
Simon John, head of Ehotasat First Nation, said he had noticed some reluctance among residents of the Ehotis Reserve on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island about the Govt-19 vaccine.
The COVID-19 outbreak, which spread to 28 people last month in a community of about 100 members, so when John learned that they would soon receive the Moderna vaccine, he decided to lead by example.
“As a council, it is our priority to take it first,” he said.
John said he received his first dose last Monday with about 30 Ehatis residents and 40 people in the nearby village of Cephalos, some of whom are adults and band members living without reserves.
Dangerous members of distant first countries by the end of February BC. 25,000 dose has set aside the Govit-19 vaccine. Last Monday, 10,700 drugs of the Moderna vaccine were made available to first countries, and 5 communities were distributed to 18 communities.
Indigenous Services Canada on Friday confirmed more than 10,000 COVID-19 cases in first-nation communities across the country, including 3,288 active infections, 452 in hospitals and 95 deaths.
The Canadian Advisory Council on Immunization has identified tribal communities as one of the priority groups for low-distribution vaccines.
In Alberta, the province prioritizes tertiary immunization for those living in distant first countries and those aged 65 or over in any first nation or Medes community starting February.
In Saskatchewan, 4,900 doses of Moderna vaccine have so far been shipped to the northern regions, where health workers, staff and residents of long-term care homes, and people over the age of 80 or older are at the top of the list. In the first national communities.
Initially, “the first countries were not really involved in deciding where to vaccinate,” said Dr. Nammadi Ndubuka, medical health officer at the Northern Tribal Health Commission.
Most recently, communication about vaccine distribution has improved between communities and the Saskatchewan Health Authority, he said.
The province expects to receive a further 5,300 doses of the modern vaccine this week, with smaller cities operating as regional distribution centers.
Manitoba, meanwhile, began sending 5,300 doses of the modern vaccine last week to reach people in all 63 first countries in the province.
This report of the Canadian edition was first published on January 10, 2021.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of Facebook and the Canadian Press News Fellowship.