By Herald on January 4, 2021.
The Blood Tribe Department of Health says the rollout of COVID-19 vaccinations is underway, with the first COVID-19 vaccinations given to Kainai Continuing Care Centre staff on Dec. 24, followed by vaccinations to the facility’s residents on Jan. 1.
Blood Tribe Department of Health Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Fox, identified 30 staff members and 18 residents of the Kainai Continuing Care Centre as having received the first of two doses of the COVID-19 vaccines.
Recent announcements by the Alberta government and Alberta Health Services included long-term care staff and residents in an immediate priority list that included facilities on First Nations reserves. A licence agreement with AHS it helped in Kainai Continuing Care Centre to gain access to the vaccines quickly for staff and residents. The department says the Pfizer vaccine was administered to staff, while the Moderna vaccine was given to the facility’s residents. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are administered in two doses.
While priorities of those receiving the vaccines are based on the immediate priorities outlined by the province, the department says advocacy by Blackfoot leadership and Blood Tribe physicians to have First Nations included is noted as being instrumental for the immediate vaccinations on reserves.
The Blood Tribe Department of Health says it is working quickly to review at-risk groups and work with the community to determine the priorities for the continued vaccinations to all membership, with the Blood Tribe Community Health Team carrying out their mandate for vaccine rollout with extensive experience in providing immunizations programs to Blood Reserve residents for many years.
The Blood Tribe Department of Health says it will work to provide more updates on the vaccine rollout and strongly urges members to continue following health guidelines.