WINNIPEG - Winnipeg has a new vaccine site, this one specifically to ensure access for Manitoba’s First Nations. The popup clinic will be used to vaccinate First Nation health-care workers, Traditional Healers, and Knowledge Keepers during 889 appointments over the next several days.
MKO Grand Chief Garrison Settee says Traditional Healers and Knowledge Keepers are essential to the health and wellness of Indigenous Manitobans, and wants everyone who gets an opportunity to be vaccinated to take it. Traditional ceremony and Sundance leader from the Pimicikamak Cree Nation Michael David Blacksmith says he’s been looking forward to the opening for a long time, stating he expects the vaccine will help First Nations communities get back to normal. Blacksmith says it’s important for society to beat the coronavirus together.
The government of Manitoba says it’s important that eligible people book their appointment as soon as they can, as the site will be available for a limited time. The province is distributing 11,800 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to specifically ensure First Nations communities are able to have access to immunization campaigns.
Public health lead for the Manitoba First Nations COVID-19 Pandemic Response Coordination Team Dr. Marcia Anderson says this is just one major step to ensure that the vaccine is available for every First Nation person who wants to be immunized, as part of Manitoba being able to effectively respond to COVID-19.