Health Services skewed numbers by including children in first low count
By Victoria Gray
Director of Six Nations Health Services Lori Davis-Hill believes vaccination numbers for the territory only appear low because every band member is included in the count.
Six Nations has reported a 35 per cent vaccination rate of those living on Six Nations and 31 per cent of those band members living off-reserve.
Davis-Hill told the Six Nations Elected Council’s Human Services Committee on June 2 that count includes people who are not eligible to get a vaccine, like children.
She said the provincial vaccination coverage count, which is at about 65 per cent, only appears higher because children are not included in that count.
“The province has only included those people who are eligible for a vaccine,” she said.
She said her team thought it was important for them to include all members to get a better idea of the true vaccination coverage.
“We made the conscious decision to include the total membership, this includes all of the kids on and off-reserve. It gives us a picture of vaccination coverage of our entire membership. It then gives us a better measure of how protected the entire community is. Our targets will be based on the way we are doing stats and not the way Ontario is,” she said.
She said if Health Services was to count the vaccination rate the way Ontario is, then Six Nations may end up having about a 60 per cent vaccination rate.
Davis-Hill said the vaccination rate in the territory climbs 2 to 3 per cent every week.
There has been 14 days with zero cases of COVID-19 reported on the territory and she is hopeful that trend will continue.
Health Services will receive the Pfizer vaccination approved for children from 12 to 17 in the coming days and are beginning to administer the vaccine. A pre-registration system for youth is available at https://www.sixnationscovid19.ca/ in the coming days.
There has been 526 cases of COVID-19 on Six Nations since the pandemic hit the area in March 2020. There are no community members currently in the hospital and 11 succumbed to the virus throughout the pandemic.
The provincial COVID-19 cases have fallen from 3,000 a day in the last few months to about 700 a day, which Davis-Hill said is a vast improvement.
She said Six Nations is working to alter their colour alert system to mirror the province’s system, but there are only minor changes needed to bring them in line.
The alert status is currently Red and is reassessed on a weekly basis.
While in the Red community members are asked not to gather with members outside of their household, not to travel far from the territory and gatherings are limited to five indoors and 10 outdoors. Outdoor dining is allowed, but indoor dining will remain closed.
For more information on the alert status, getting a COVID-19 test or vaccination visit https://www.sixnationscovid19.ca/.