Several First Nations receiving Moderna vaccine

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Peguis, Fisher River, Norway House and Cross Lake First Nations will receive Moderna vaccines this week.

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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 08/01/2021 (581 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

Peguis, Fisher River, Norway House and Cross Lake First Nations will receive Moderna vaccines this week.

The allotments for Peguis and Fisher River were being driven out and the other two were shipped by plane — the shipments were scheduled to depart yesterday.

First Nations in Manitoba will receive 5,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine for immediate vaccination, according to a statement from Southern Chiefs’ Organization Grand Chief Jerry Daniels late Wednesday evening. Also as of yesterday, the Province of Manitoba committed an additional allocation of 5,300 doses that will roll out the week of Feb. 23.

First Nations in Manitoba will receive 5,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine for immediate vaccination, according to a statement from the Southern Chiefs’ Organization’s Grand Chief Jerry Daniels late Wednesday evening. (Winnipeg Free Press)

“This is a significant day in the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Daniels.

“Our Treaty partners have responded to our urgent request for additional doses. This will ensure all First Nation people and health-care staff in personal care homes, and all those over 60 years of age in remote communities, and over 70 years of age in non-remote communities, will be offered a vaccine in stage one of the distribution beginning tomorrow.”

“This is just the start of the vaccine rollout, and we appreciate the patience of everyone in allowing our First Nations health experts to provide us the necessary guidance in this endeavour,” Grand Chief Arlen Dumas of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs stated in a separate news release.

“I further want to commend our chiefs for their diligence and commitment to providing information and assistance day in and out to ensure that our PRCT (Pandemic Response Co-ordination Team) is supported.”

Premier Brian Pallister stated in a news release Thursday that his government believes strongly in the principles of reconciliation.

“A strong partnership that supports decision-making led by First Nations for First Nations peoples on critical issues like COVID-19 immunization puts these principles into action. By working together, we can ensure all Manitobans are protected from COVID-19 as quickly as possible,” he stated.

In mid-December 2020, First Nation representatives were invited to join the intergovernmental COVID-19 Manitoba Vaccine Task Force, Daniels stated. Cindy Garson, a nurse of 27 years with 10 years of health management experience, was selected to represent SCO on this task force. Garson is director of health for the Interlake Reserves Tribal Council.

“Our deepest thanks and gratitude goes out to our colleague Cindy Garson,” stated Daniels. “Her commitment to serving our 34 Anishinaabe and Dakota First Nations on this essential task force is remarkable, and it follows decades of commitment to improving health services for our people at the local, regional and national levels. I want to also acknowledge the tireless work of our First Nation chiefs, councillors, health directors, front-line and essential workers who have all given so much over the past nine months to help keep our people safe during the pandemic.”

Daniels noted First Nations are identified as a priority for the vaccine due to overwhelming evidence that shows they are disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

As of Wednesday, there were 6,185 recorded cases of COVID-19 among First Nation people in Manitoba. First Nation people represent 49 per cent of all active cases, 29 per cent of the province’s total hospitalizations and 50 per cent of intensive care unit patients in Manitoba. The median death rate for First Nation people is 66, while for the overall Manitoba population it is 83.

“We thank our Treaty Partners for responding to our urgent request to vaccinate our elders as quickly as possible,” Daniels stated.

“We continue to mourn the loss of our beloved friends and family members who will never be forgotten.”

» The Brandon Sun

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