Mass vaccination clinics in Kashechewan see big turnout: chief 

By Dariya Baiguzhiyeva

 Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

The vaccination drive held in Kashechewan First Nation earlier this week had a big turnout, according to the chief.

Chief Leo Friday said 73 per cent of people over the age of 18 were vaccinated in Kashechewan over the course of three days.

“I am extremely happy the community came out in force to be vaccinated against COVID-19,” Friday said in a statement. “This is a testimony of the community’s spirit in helping keep friends and family safe in a pandemic that has wreaked havoc in the lives of our First Nation.”

From Feb. 1 to Feb. 3, 731 vaccines of the first dose of the Moderna vaccine were administered in a community of 1,825 people.

Out of 731 people, 217 were vaccinated on the first day, 171 on the second day and 343 on the third day.

The second dose of the Moderna vaccine is expected to be given in early March, according to the press release.

“I am happy people came to get their first dose of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. While hopeful, I did not anticipate the turnout as there was too much misinformation going around in social media,”  Kashechewan Health Services’ director Gaius Wesley said in a statement.

“With teamwork and a collaborative approach, I am extremely proud of the community and I encourage other First Nation leaders and members to do the same.”

The Operation Remote Immunity program is a vaccination program carried out by Weeneebayko Area Health Authority (WAHA), ORNGE and First Nation **>Inuit<** Health Branch (FNIHB).

Mass vaccination clinics as part of WAHA’s phase three vaccine rollout plan started in Peawanuck in late January.

The vaccination clinics are now underway in Attawapiskat and will be held at Kattawapiskat Elementary School until Feb. 8. The clinics are open for adults over 18 years old from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Vaccination clinics will then move to Fort Albany, Moosonee and Moose Factory.

Dariya Baiguzhiyeva is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter who works out of the  TIMMINSTODAY.COM . The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.


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