January 2, 2021
The Blood Tribe began to administer the first COVID-19 vaccinations on December 24th to Kainai Continuing Care Centre staff and followed by the facility’s residents on January 1, 2021. Blood Tribe Department of Health Chief Executive Officer, Derrick Fox, identified 30 staff members and 18 residents of the Kainai Continuing Care Centre 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. Fox explained that because the Blood Tribe had a licence agreement with AHS it helped KCCC to gain quick access to the vaccines for staff and residents. The Pfizer vaccine was administered to Kainai Continuing Care Center staff with the Moderna vaccine given to KCCC 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, advocacy by Blackfoot leadership and Blood Tribe physicians to have First Nations included is noted as being instrumental for the immediate vaccinations on reserves. BTDH is working quickly to review at-risk groups and work with the community to determine the priorities for the continued vaccinations to all membership. The Blood Tribe Community Health Team will carry out the vaccine rollout as they have been mandated to do and have extensive experience in providing immunizations programs to Blood Reserve residents for many years.
BTDH will work to provide more updates on the vaccine rollout and strongly urge members to continue following health guidelines:
- Wear masks
- Practice safe hand hygiene: wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds, use hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available.
- Practice physical distancing by staying 2 meters/6 feet away from others
It has been a long period of time that Blood Tribe members have been following these measures and as BTDH indicated there is some light to the end of the tunnel – but we all need to continue in following the safety measures to ensure COVID-19 numbers remain minimal. As we enter 2021 with a renewed sense of motivation and hope – we still need to work together to stop the spread of the virus and encourage each other about the benefits of the vaccinations. Any official information will be provided on our website bloodtribe.org and btdh.ca. we ask you practice responsible information by checking and sharing reliable sources for the COVID-19 virus and vaccination information.
Blood Tribe Communications and Community Engagement