Michelle Chester, director of employee health services at Northwell Health, holds a bottle containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP)

Michelle Chester, director of employee health services at Northwell Health, holds a bottle containing the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at Northwell Health’s Long Island Jewish Valley Stream hospital in Valley Stream, N.Y., on Monday, Dec. 21, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Eduardo Munoz/Pool via AP)

Remote B.C. First Nations to begin getting Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine this week

Tahltan Nation amongst first recipients

Several B.C. First Nations are scheduled to receive their first COVID-19 vaccines.

The Moderna vaccine will be offered to everyone aged 18 and over in 10 rural and remote Indigenous communities in B.C. this week, mostly in the north, where health care services are limited.

Although the First Nations Health Authority (FNHA) could not be reached for comment, the Tahltan Central Government (TCG) confirmed they are one of the recipients.

ATTENTION TAHLTANS: MERRY CHRISTMAS & VACCINES INFO

On behalf of the Tahltan Nation COVID-19 Emergency Management…

Posted by Tahltan Central Government on Thursday, December 24, 2020

On Christmas Eve, TCG wrote the vaccine would be arriving in all three of their communities, including Iskut (Luwe Chon), Dease Lake, (Talh’ah) and Telegraph Creek (Tlegohin) on Dec. 29.

Unlike the first COVID-19 vaccine by Pfizer-BioNTech, which arrived in B.C. on Dec. 14, the Moderna vaccine is the preferred option for remote communities as it does not require ultra-cold storage and is easier to handle.

Read More: COVID-19 paramedic task force leaves Fort St. James; B.C. to send an extra ambulance

Indigenous peoples are at a higher risk of COVID-19 than the rest of the population due to reduced access to stable housing, income, clean water, and or health services, FNHA noted.

As of Dec. 27, Indigenous Services Canada said it was aware of 585 positive confirmed positive COVID-19 cases on First Nations reserves in B.C.

In recent weeks, many First Nations have confirmed potential exposures, including Saik’uz First Nation near Vanderhoof and Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation southwest of Williams Lake, which are both denying access to non-residents.

FNHA said while it recognizes that some Indigenous people lack trust in the medical system, “it is important to note that vaccine trials go through rigorous, well-established ethical processes.”

Read More: More than 15,000 people have died in Canada due to COVID-19

“Providing vaccines in a timely and effective way to First Nations communities is an important step towards protecting individuals, families and communities,” FNHA said in a joint statement with the First Nations Health Council and First Nations Health Directors Association.

A COVID-19 variant first identified in the United Kingdom, which is believed to spread more quickly and easily, was confirmed in B.C. on Dec. 27 by provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Health Minister Adrian Dix.


Do you have a comment about this story? email:
rebecca.dyok@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirus

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the legislature, Jan. 11, 2021. (B.C. government)
Vancouver Island smashes COVID-19 high: 47 new cases in a day

Blowing past previous records, Vancouver Island is not matching B.C.s downward trend

Aquaculture employee from Vancouver Island, Michelle, poses with a comment that she received on social media. Facebook group Women in Canadian Salmon Farming started an online campaign #enoughisenough to highlight the harassment they were facing online after debates about Discovery Islands fish farms intensified on social media. (Submitted photo)
Female aquaculture employees report online bullying, say divisive debate has turned sexist

Vancouver Island’s female aquaculture employees start #enoughisenough to address misogynistic comments aimed at them

Mowi Canada West’s Sheep Pass salmon farm, the company’s final B.C. operation to receive certification from the Aquaculture Steward Council. The Canadian Federation of Agriculture (CFA) is questioning a government decision to phase out salmon farms in the Discovery Islands. (Photo supplied by Mowi Canada West)
Canadian Federation of Agriculture backs B.C. salmon farmers

Letter to prime minister calls for federal “champion” for aquaculture growth

Vancouver Island North reported just two new cases last week. (BC CDC)
North Island holding COVID-19 mostly at bay

Just two new cases were confirmed last week

Black bear cubs Athena and Jordan look on from their enclosure at the North Island Wildlife Recovery Association in Errington, B.C., on July 8, 2015. Conservation Officer Bryce Casavant won the hearts of animal lovers when he opted not to shoot the baby bears in July after their mother was destroyed for repeatedly raiding homes near Port Hardy, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Supreme Court quashes review of North Island conservation officer who refused to euthanize bears

Bryce Casavant was dismissed from his job for choosing not to shoot the cubs in 2015

Businesses continue to struggle under COVID-19 restrictions as the pandemic reaches the one-year mark. (B.C. government)
Another 564 COVID-19 cases, mass vaccine plan coming Friday

15 more deaths, community cluster declared in Williams Lake

A specialized RCMP team is investigating a suspicious trailer, which might have connections to the illicit drug trade, found abandoned outside a Cache Creek motel. (Photo credit: <em>Journal</em> files)
Police probe U-Haul trailer linked to illicit drugs left outside Cache Creek motel

Hazardous materials found inside believed to be consistent with the production of illicit drugs

Premier John Horgan leaves the podium following his first press conference of the year as he comments on various questions from the media in the Press Gallery at B.C. Legislature in Victoria, B.C., on Monday, January 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interprovincial travel restrictions a no-go, Horgan says after reviewing legal options

The B.C. NDP government sought legal advice as concerns of travel continue

The cost of potentially counting deer regionwide was among the issues that prompted Capital Regional District committee members to vote against pursuing a greater CRD role in deer management. (Black Press Media file photo)
Expanded deer management a non-starter for Greater Victoria

Capital Regional District committee maintains current level of support

Gem Lake Top, at Big White Ski Resort, seen at Jan. 8. (Big White Ski Resort)
Big White cancels $7.3M in lift tickets, accommodations due to COVID-19 orders

Since November, the ski resort has been forced to make several changes

Darlene Curylo scratched a $3M ticket, BCLC’s largest ever scratch and win prize. (BCLC)
Kelowna woman in shock after winning BCLC’s largest-ever instant-ticket prize

Darlene Curylo couldn’t believe her eyes when she saw the amount of money she’d won from a scratch ticket

While each person has different reasons for becoming homeless, a UBCO study shows they learn through their interactions with different services to perform ‘as homeless’ based on the expectations of service providers. (Contributed)
Kelowna homeless forced to ‘perform’ for resources, says UBCO study

One participant in the study said ‘It is about looking homeless, but not too homeless’

Gov. Gen. Julie Payette takes the royal salute from the Guard of Honour as she makes her way deliver the the throne speech, Wednesday, September 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Gov. Gen. Julie Payette resigns, apologizes for ‘tensions’ at Rideau Hall

Payette, who is the Queen’s representative in Canada, has been the governor general since 2017

Grounded WestJet Boeing 737 Max aircraft are shown at the airline’s facilities in Calgary, Alta., Tuesday, May 7, 2019. WestJet will operate the first commercial Boeing 737 Max flight in Canada today since the aircraft was grounded in 2019 following two deadly crashes. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Passengers unfazed as WestJet returns Boeing 737 Max to service on Vancouver flight

After a lengthy review process, Transport Canada cleared the plane to return to Canadian airspace

Most Read