STANDOFF, AB –  Vaccinations against the coronavirus are underway on the Blood Reserve.

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 New Year’s Day.

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 in KCCC to gain access to the vaccines quickly 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. Blood Tribe Department of Health 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.

(From Blood Tribe news release)