Covid vaccine clinics roll out on Six Nations and MCFN

More than three months after the first Covid-19 vaccine was approved by Health Canada, hundreds of Six Nations and Mississaugas of the Credit members participated in community vaccine clinics last week.

Initial vaccine doses were prioritized for frontline workers and elders in long-term care facilities on Six Nations in December and early January. More people outside of healthcare settings are now getting the vaccine. A vaccine clinic at Emily C. General began operating on Mar. 1 after Six Nations recently procured 200 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

On Mar. 2, local health officials administered 154 doses of the vaccine to Six Nations community members.

In January, Six Nations Health Services said Canada had a vaccine shortage, resulting in the slow rollout of inoculations on Six Nations.

Off-reserve, only frontline healthcare workers and elders in long-term care homes have received the vaccine. Seniors and adults off-reserve are still waiting to receive their first dose, according to media reports.

Here on Six Nations, community members are eligible to receive the vaccine by registering online for the appointment-only dose administration at Emily C. General Elementary School.

“Emily C. General Elementary School was selected as the community vaccination site because it was one of the best locations for flow of traffic, adequate refrigeration (of the vaccine) and airflow quality, and other vaccine requirements as identified in Ontario’s ministry guidelines,” Six Nations of the Grand River elected council said in a press release. “For strict safety and protocol reasons, vaccine doses are stored off-site from the clinic with security in place.”

SNGR says the vaccine rollout has been a “tremendous success” and the booking and registration system has been effective that will continue to run smoothly in the months to come.

The clinic will administer vaccines as doses become available.

“All of Canada is currently struggling to procure vaccines, simply because the supply is not yet available to meet the demand,” SNGR stated.

Elected Chief Mark Hill said he will continue to press the province and feds for enough doses for Six Nations people.

“I will continue to stress to Canada and Ontario the need for a full community roll-out of vaccines to ensure that every Six Nations member who wants the vaccine can get it now. Our community is in a crisis and the vaccine is needed now.”

The vaccine consists of two shots and SNGR stressed that people are still vulnerable to Covid-19 infection between the administration of the first dose and second dose.

“The maximum level of immunity is achieved a few weeks after the second dose is administered,” SNGR stated. “This timing will vary according to the vaccine product.”

There are currently four approved Covid-19 vaccines in Canada, named after the companies that developed them: Moderna, Pfizer, Johnson and Johnson and AstraZeneca.

Over the weekend, 444 MCFN members received their first dose of the Covid vaccine with another clinic planned for Mar. 12.

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