Eight out of 168 people who had Covid vaccine on Six Nations had adverse reaction

The results of a three-year long community Covid study are in and the statistics show some surprising results.

Six Nations had one of the lowest vaccine rates of any region in Ontario, with about 50 percent of people getting the first dose of the Covid vaccine while the provincial average was around 80 percent.

Out of 168 people who participated in the community Covid study and said they had the vaccine, 8 of them had reactions severe enough to require hospital care, noted Six Nations epidemiologist Sara Smith.

Those reactions were related to allergies or anaphylaxis, she said.

Vaccines were also a source of tension and division in the community, she said, with about 30 percent of study participants saying they only got the vaccine because of mandates.

She said 50 percent of the participants who got the vaccine did so because they believed in the science and efficacy of the vaccine, while the remainder said they got the vaccine because of influence from others, whether family, friends or healthcare workers.

When it came to infections, 23 per cent tested positive for Covid antibodies even though they said they believed they never had Covid, leading Smith to conclude those were asymptomatic infections.

Half of participants in the study had at least one chronic condition, which made the outcomes worse for those infected, said Smith.

“(First Nations people) were hit harder than other groups and got sicker when they caught it,” she said.

About 36 people died of Covid on Six Nations during the pandemic. Six percent of infected people needed hospitalization, as well.

Six Nations partnered with McMaster University to conduct the study.

About 437 people took part in the study. 

The purpose of the study was to look at the statistics to better prepare for any future pandemics that may arise, said Smith.

The majority of study participants said they believed the vaccine improved their immunity and response to the virus and that after vaccination, their experience was more mild.

The study also noted that of those who chose not to get the vaccine, the major reasons cited were:

-believing the vaccine development was rushed or they were worried about side effects;

-they felt confident in being able to fight the virus themselves without the aid of a vaccine.

The study noted that the majority of participants got their information from traditional media and health care workers, and about 27 percent used social media for information.

About 30 per cent used Six Nations local media for their Covid-19 information.

When it came to measures meant to mitigate the virus transmission, 82 percent of participants wore a mask often or always and 93 percent practiced physical distancing often or always, while also avoiding crowded places, handshakes or hugs.

Their reasoning, said Smith, was to protect friends and family and the community at large.

The pandemic did have impacts on mental and emotional well-being, the study noted. 

Most participants reported some degree of depressive symptoms with about 50 percent reporting moderate to severe depressive symptoms.

Young students and essential workers were the groups most affected mentally and emotionally during the pandemic, the study noted.

In some cases, isolation during the pandemic helped some people strengthen relationships with family and they learned new skills. 

Others had difficulties with not being able to attend longhouse and it negatively affected their mental health, said Smith.

Essential workers and single parents experienced the most stress during lockdowns, the study noted, notably, with essential workers experiencing burnout and single parents having trouble with juggling employment and their children learning remotely from home.

Related Posts