Vaccination Clinic Success in Neyaashiinigmiing

The Nawash Health Centre, assisted by the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, held Neyaashiinigmiing’s first large-scale COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Neyaashiinigmiing on February 24. The clinic, held at the Kikendaasogamig Elementary School provided 150 older Neyaashiinigmiing residents with their first dose of the 2-dose Pfizer vaccine. The clinic ran smoothly with minimal waiting and line-ups, as each vaccination was scheduled by appointment with the Health Centre.

IMPORTANT: The next clinic will be held on Wednesday, March 3, 2021, again at the Kikendaasogamig Elementary School. Any adult resident, over 16 years old, who has not yet received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, is asked to make an appointment to be vaccinated at the upcoming clinic. Call the Nawash Health Centre at 519-534-0373 during business hours to schedule your vaccination.

The goal of our vaccination program is to immunize 75% of the adult population of the community. At 75%-80% immunization, we will achieve what is called “herd immunity”, when enough people are immune to avoid a dangerous outbreak spreading through the community. Herd immunity is the first step towards reclaiming our normal lives back from the pandemic. Herd immunity will not only protect those who are vaccinated, but also those that can’t get a vaccine for other health reasons. For your safety, for the community’s safety, for those who are vulnerable, schedule your vaccination today.

We will hold additional clinics to administer the second dose of vaccine once everyone who is going to be vaccinated has received the first dose. The second dose can be administered anytime between 28 days and 2 months after the first dose. We will ensure that everybody who receives the first dose will also receive the second dose within the recommended window.

We are concerned for our off-reserve members as well. The Nawash Health Centre is in the process of organizing a vaccination clinic specifically for off-reserve members, to be held in Owen Sound. We hope to have more information to share about the off-reserve vaccination clinic in the next few days.

Even if you have received a first COVID-19 vaccination, you do not have full immunity to COVID-19. All community members are asked to continue to observe pandemic protocols until further notice.

  • Wear a mask outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Watch your distance and stay 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

Please Schedule Your COVID-19 Vaccination

Chippewas of Nawash Unceded First Nation, assisted by the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit, will be holding a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at Kikendaasogamig Elementary School this Wednesday. This will be the first of several large clinics we are planning in the weeks ahead. We are extremely fortunate to be receiving enough vaccine to inoculate the entire community in a relatively short span of time.

Vaccinations are being given according to priorities set by the federal and provincial health ministries. COVID-19 is highly contagious and requires significant care for those that become seriously ill. The virus threatens to overwhelm regional health care providers if it spreads too quickly. The goal of the vaccination priority order is to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the health system so that we can care for those that do get ill.

At this time, the Nawash Health Centre is pleased to invite Neyaashiinigmiing residents, who are 50 years of age or older, to make an appointment to receive their first dose of the life-saving COVID-19 vaccine. To schedule your vaccination, please call the Health Centre during business hours at: 519-534-0373.

For your families, neighbours, and community, schedule your vaccination as soon as possible. Call today!

Clinic Details

Priority Group: 50+ years old
Date: Wednesday, February 24, 2021
Time: 9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Location: Kikendaasogamig Elementary School gymnasium

Upcoming COVID-19 Vaccination Clinics

We are pleased to announce that two more COVID-19 vaccination clinics have been scheduled for Wednesday, February 24th and Wednesday, March 3rd, 9:30 AM -2:30 PM.

The clinics will be held in the Kikendaasogamig Elementary School gymnasium. Our own Nawash Health Centre staff will be administering the vaccine and managing the clinic with the assistance of a nursing team from the Grey Bruce Public Health Unit. Each clinic will provide the first dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to 150 residents. The first dose is followed up with a second “booster” shot 4 to 6 weeks later to gain the full level of immunity offered by the vaccine.

In order to distribute the limited vaccine supply most effectively, vaccinations will be administered by appointment ONLY. The Nawash Health Centre will be calling community residents to make vaccination appointments, starting with the oldest age groups first, then working down through younger age groups. Younger adults may necessarily have to wait through one or more clinics before they receive their first shot, as priority will be given to older and more vulnerable residents.

If you are a Neyaashiinigmiing resident, born before 1960, and haven’t received a phone call from the Nawash Health Centre by Monday, February 22, we may not have your contact information. Please call the Health Centre immediately at: 519-534-0373.

Residents will be pre-screened at the vaccination clinic when they arrive for their appointments, to ensure that the the COVID-19 vaccine is right for each person. Residents will be asked to provide their health card number. If you have any questions about vaccination, you can call the Nawash Health Centre and speak to one of our health staff, or bring your questions to your vaccination appointment to have them answered in person.

The COVID-19 vaccines have been tested and administered around the world. They have been proven to be safe, reliable and effective. Note that with multi-dose vaccines, receiving the first dose does not mean that you have full immunity. Immunity takes weeks to build up after receiving your first dose, and the full effectiveness of the vaccine is not realized until several weeks after receiving your second dose.

For the safety of everyone around you, and for your own health, continue to follow COVID-19 safety protocols even after being vaccinated:

  • Wear a mask covering your face and nose outside your home.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay at least 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

These clinics will provide the first vaccine dose to 300 adults in the community. We will announce the dates of the second dose clinics for vaccinated residents in the weeks ahead.

Video: Chief Nadjiwon Speaks with Dr. Ian Arra

Chief Greg Nadjiwon and Dr. Ian Arra speak in this video recorded at the second COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Neyaashiinigmiing. The Chief and Dr. Arra discuss the success of our COVID-19 mitigations and upcoming steps in our vaccination plan.

The return to normalcy for the community begins with the safe, proven effective COVID-19 vaccine. If you have an pre-existing health condition, please check with your health care provider or the Nawash Health Centre about whether the vaccine is right for you. We urge every adult 18 years and older, who is recommended to receive the vaccine, to be vaccinated at one of our upcoming clinics.

We will be announcing the dates and locations for our next clinics in the days ahead.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Community-Wide Vaccination Coming to Neyaashiinigmiing

We have been advised by Grey Bruce Public Health that approximately 7000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by Pfizer will be delivered to Grey Bruce in the second half of February. Two doses of the Pfizer vaccine are required for full immunity, several weeks apart. These large vaccine shipments will be used to give the initial vaccination to residents and caregivers in long-term care homes, hospital staff, retirement homes and staff, and to vaccinate all residents of Neyaashiinigmiing and Saugeen First Nation.

Indigenous communities have been identified as high-priority communities for vaccinations by all levels of government. We know that everyone wants the potentially life-saving vaccination. With the planned shipments of the Pfizer vaccine to Grey Bruce, we are hopeful that we can have the great majority of the community vaccinated in the coming weeks.

Our next COVID-19 vaccination clinic is tentatively scheduled for February 11, 2021. This date is based on the best available information, but it may change before the day. We will update the public as soon as we receive more or different advice. If you live in Neyaashiinigmiing, the Health Centre will invite you to receive the vaccine when it is your turn. We will advise Neyaashiinigmiing residents if an open vaccination clinic for all residents is planned.

While we wait for a vaccination, and even after we are vaccinated, until full immunity is realized, we must be patient and stay safe. All residents must continue to follow the COVID-19 safety protocols:

  • Wear a mask outside your home and keep it on.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay at least 2 meters from people that you don’t live with.

Neyaashiinigmiing COVID-19 Update

In response to the ongoing pandemic, the Council has decided to extend the Neyaashiinigmiing State of Emergency until February 28th. Under the State of Emergency, the Council has been able to take extraordinary actions to keep the community safe.

We have limited access to the community by closing one of our two entrances and setting up a monitoring station at the other. While it is impossible to say what might have happened without these actions, the Council feels that reducing the level of outside traffic in Neyaashiinigmiing has helped our community avoid the worst of the pandemic.

We have also extended the operations of our Food Bank. The Food Bank has received significantly more funds since the beginning of the pandemic and is able to serve all community members. With more space required for the additional foodstuffs and supplies, the Food Bank has also been allowed to operate out the Community Centre, at least until the end of March, 2021.

COVID-19 vaccines are finally being distributed in Grey Bruce, although only in small amounts. The supply of authorized vaccines is severely constrained around the world. We expect that we will receive small batches in intervals from the federal and provincial health ministries. We don’t have a long-term schedule for when we will receive batches of vaccine. We do know that it will be many months before we have enough community members vaccinated that we can begin relaxing the protocols that have kept us safe all this time.

Vaccinations are being given according to priorities set by the federal and provincial health ministries. COVID-19 is highly contagious and requires significant care for those that become seriously ill. The virus threatens to overwhelm regional health care providers if it spreads too quickly. The goal of the vaccination priority order is to reduce the spread of the virus and protect the health system so that we can care for those that do get ill.

Health workers will receive vaccinations first, as well as vulnerable people who live or provide care in what are called “congregate settings”. That just means a multi-resident apartment or facility. Congregate settings are considered more risky because if one person in the building catches the virus, there could be a large number of people exposed. Our Seniors Apartment Complex is an example of a congregate setting. On the other hand, an individual or small family living in their own house may be just as vulnerable to COVID-19, or even more, but there is less chance of many people falling ill if one member of a single household catches the virus.

Our next COVID-19 vaccination clinic is tentatively scheduled for February 11, 2021. This date is based on the best available information, but it may change before the day. We will update the public as soon as we receive more or different advice. If you live in Neyaashiinigmiing, the Health Centre will invite you to receive the vaccine when it is your turn. At this time, we will not be holding an open vaccination clinic for all residents.

We know that everyone wants the potentially life-saving vaccination and we are doing everything we can to get more vaccine in the community. Indigenous communities have been identified as high-priority communities for vaccinations by all levels of government. The limitation at this point is simply the amount of time it takes to manufacture and deliver the vaccines. While the manufacturers ramp up their production, we must be patient and stay safe by following our protocols:

  • Wear a mask outside your home and keep it on.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Stay at least 2 meters from people that you don’t live with.

 

Nawash Health Staff Administer First COVID-19 Vaccinations

We are pleased to inform the membership that the Nawash Health Centre held our first COVID-19 vaccination clinic today at the Maadookii Centre. We received 30 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which were allocated to residents of the Seniors Apartment Complex. Today, residents received the first dose of the two-part vaccination process. The recipients will return for the second, booster shot of the vaccine after 28 days.

Berdina Johnston, Elder and former Community Health Nurse, receives the COVID-19 vaccination.

Nobody is considered immune after receiving their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, or even after their second dose. It takes another 10 to 14 days after the booster shot to develop full immunity to COVID-19. Even vaccinated persons should continue to observe all pandemic health and safety guidelines, including wearing a mask, washing hands frequently, and staying at least 2 meters away from people you don’t live with.

We will be advised by Grey Bruce Public Health when more vaccine is available. Currently, demand for COVID-19 vaccines is far greater than the available supply and we cannot reliably predict when we will receive more vaccine doses. Provincial and federal health authorities are manage the distribution of vaccines around the country. We expect that notice of a vaccine delivery will likely be short, so we will remain ready to hold future clinics as soon as possible.

Paul Lavalley receives his shot from Community Health Nurse, SpringDawn Cook-Akiwenzie.

We know that most people are eager to receive a vaccination. We are doing all we can to vaccinate as many residents and staff as quickly as we can, but our Health staff and administration do not control how much vaccine we receive, or how the vaccine is to be allocated. The Health staff, in collaboration with the Grey Bruce Public Health unit, implement the vaccine priorities set by the Federal and Provincial health ministries.

The Federal and Provincial health ministries have planned a phased roll-out of the COVID-19 vaccines that addresses the most vulnerable populations first, as well as those situations where the virus is most likely to spread.

Phase One: January – March

During Phase One, vaccines will be prioritized to long-term care and retirement home residents, essential caregivers and staff; Indigenous communities and populations; healthcare workers; and chronic home care recipients.

Phase Two: April – July

During Phase Two, vaccines will be prioritized to older adults, beginning with those 80 and older, and decreasing in 5-year increments as the groups are vaccinated; people who live and work in high-use settings with other people; frontline essential workers, including first responders, teachers and other education staff and the food processing industry; individuals with high-risk chronic conditions and their caregivers; and other populations who are at greater COVID-19 risk.

Phase Three: August and beyond

During the final Phase, remaining Ontarians in the general population who wish to be vaccinated will receive the vaccine.

We recommend that every resident get a COVID-19 vaccination when it is offered to your category.