By Victoria Gray
More community members are getting COVID-19 vaccinations as clinics ramp up and active cases are going down.
There are currently seven active COVID-19 cases on Six Nations.
Six Nation’s total COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic to 443.
There are currently 66 people in isolation, there have been three cases of a variant of concern, though which strain of the virus variant is from has not been identified. One person is in hospital and nine people have died from COVID-19.
Vaccination clinics at Gaylord Powless Arena on Fourth Line Road have started ramping up after the community received 6,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine on March 17. Since then 2,119 people have gotten their first dose and 293 people have received their second dose of the Moderna vaccine which is the company believes is 94.1 per cent effective when it comes to protecting against a symptomatic case and 100 per cent effective when it comes to stopping deaths and hospitalizations due to COVID-19.
Thre are 1414 people signed up to get their first and second vaccinations .
Ryan Spiteri, manager of communications for the Brant County Health Unit said more than 2,000 Indigenous people, both Urban Indigenous (those living off-reserve) and those from Six Nations received vaccinations from clinics in Brantford and County of Brant, 1,200 of those from Six Nations.
Those who live on Six Nations, but received their vaccination in Brantford will receive their second dose in the 21 to 28 day manufacturer recommended vaccination window, those Urban Indigenous people classified as Urban Indigenous will have to wait the 16-week interval between their first and second dose.
“After a recent change in guidance from the Province, those who live on-reserve will have their second dose administered on the 21 or 28 day second dose interval. BCHU has contacted on-reserve residents who have been vaccinated at BCHU clinics to inform them of this change and have invited them to re-book their second dose in accordance with this new guidance,” he said.
Spiteri said the COVAX provincial vaccine administration system does not give health units the ability to calculate the difference between those who live on-reserve and those are classified as urban indigenous, but they can keep track of rebooking.
“We were however able to calculate this on a one-time basis to contact those who qualify for the expedited second dose. Over 1,200 emails were sent out to those residing on-reserve to invite them to re-book their second dose,” he said.
Many believe the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine brings more and worsened side effects than the first dose, but Spiteri said this hasn’t been proven or disproven.
“More studies need to be completed for more of a definitive determination on this topic,” he said.
“However, often the ‘side effects’ are the immune system responding to the immunization and since it has already been primed by the first then it wouldn’t be unexpected that the effects may be felt more after the second.”
The province went into a modified lock down referred to as an, “emergency brake” for four weeks on Saturday, April 3 at 12:01 a.m.
The emergency brake forces fitness services to close physical locations, person grooming establishments must close, and restaurants will have to close indoor and outdoor dining facilities to offer take-out only.
Pharmacies, convenience stores and grocery stores must limit store capacity to 50 per cent while all other retail must reduce their capacity to 25 per cent.
Six Nations moved into the Orange Alert Level Status on March 24 after remaining in the Black or lockdown status since earl January. Schools and daycares will remain closed and private gatherings are still restricted to members of the same households.
The risk level in Orange is considered moderate to high. Although there are six cases in the community the spread of the virus is considered contained to clusters and outbreaks, but community transmission is possible. The Orange Level means there are no restrictions on travel, but community should avoid travelling to regions in a higher response framework.
The Brant County Health Unit reported 35 new cases of COVID-19 on April 5, with 159 active cases. That brings Brantford and County of Brant to 1901 cases since the beginning of the pandemic and there have been 14 deaths.
Haldimand-Norfolk Public Health reported six new cases on April 3 bringing the region’s total positive COVID-19 cases to 1,691. There are 98 active cases are 39 people have died.
There is no word on whether Six Nations will follow suit with the province and implement another lockdown.
By Victoria Gray