By Jake Cardinal, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
(ANNews) – Kim Daly, Senior Nurse Manager of the Communicable Disease Control Department at Indigenous Services Canada (ISC), appeared on the March 25 episode of the First Nation Health Managers Association weekly podcast to speak about the vaccination roll-out in Canada.
“If you’re watching a lot of media, there’s a lot of focus on the negative. But really, provinces and territories appear to be doing really good — it’s pretty smooth with getting things out. I’ve heard people have some glitches with booking things but… it does take some persistence to get in there and do that,” said Daly.
“If you have older people who are trying book [a vaccination], that’s your role there… to get in there and help them with that. That’s what we can do to help get people vaccinated — I feel very strongly about that.”
She then went on to talk about the AstraZeneca vaccine and the rumours that is causes blood clots. “There isn’t any evidence that we’ve found so far,” said Daly.
Daly is referring to the announcement that the National Advisory Committee on Immunization has recommended a pause on the AstraZeneca vaccine for people under the age of 55. This is following concerns that the vaccine may be linked to rare blood clots.
“There’s been quite a few of these vaccines given in the UK. There’s no correlation between it [the vaccine] and the bloodclots. What they’re seeing is the expected number of bloodclots in the general population,” said Daly.
“We do hear about people refusing the vaccine and you know what? That’s their choice and I always ask people to make informed decisions. But if it’s because of your fear with AstraZeneca, I ask that you try and find a healthcare provider that can help navigate you through.”
As for a vaccination update in Alberta, on March 24, Minister of Health Tyler Shandro said that the province had administered “more than half a million doses” of COVID-19 vaccine — meaning nearly 1 in 10 Albertans has received at least one dose.
“We are all tired of the ‘new normal,’” said Minister Shandro. “Fortunately, with every single vaccine administered we are getting closer and closer to returning to normal. If supply keeps up, every Adult Albertan will be offered a vaccination by the end of June.”
“Alberta’s vaccine rollout is one of the best in the country, with among the highest percentage of doses administered.”
“When it’s your turn, please sign up for your shot, show up for your appointment, and follow up with your second dose. Vaccines save lives, protect our health system and help us safely ease restrictions as soon as possible.”
Despite the strong vaccination rates, it is important to maintain adherence to safety measures. Alberta Regional Chief Marlene Poitras shared a message reminding everyone to stay diligent ahead of the Easter weekend. “As the long weekend approaches, we need to be stronger than ever in or to do our part to stop of spread of COVID-19. Vaccines are here and slowly, we are building immunity to the coronavirus, but we are not out of the woods just yet,” said Chief Poitras.
“Holidays are usually a time for us to come together with family and friends and enjoy each others’ company. I am asking you to please hold on for just a little while longer and keep our communities safe while we are at this critical turning point.
“We are a people of incredible strength and resiliency. Our ancestors overcame countless struggles for us to all be here today. Remember: their blood runs through our veins. We are so close to the finish line, we cannot afford to let up now.”
On First Nations, as of March 30, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is aware of:
– 24,768 confirmed positive COVID-19
– 860 active cases
– 1,115 hospitalizations
– 23,625 recovered cases
– 283 deaths
7,186 of the confirmed cases have been in Alberta.
The First Nations Health Managers Association (FNHMA) Weekly Virtual Town Hall is a podcast that features speakers from different organizations who provide credible and reliable information, resources, and updates about what their organizations are doing to combat COVID-19.
The podcast has recently switched days (from Thursdays) to Wednesdays at 1 pm EST at ihtoday.com and it can also be viewed at Alberta Native News Facebook page as well as other sites. Click here for earlier episodes.