“I was looking for a plan.”
In Ottawa, work has been ongoing for weeks to reach out to and immunize members of the Indigenous community. Indigenous adults over 50 can get vaccinated at the St-Laurent Complex at 525 Cote St. (Call 613 691-5505.) Akausivik is also vaccinating members of the Inuit community by appointment (613 740-0999).
Sideule says the immunization rollout has been going well at Akausivik. She described the vaccine clinic on the second floor of Akausivik as cheerful and pleasant. She said some people were hesitant, but, when others received phone calls about vaccine appointments, “It is almost like telling them they won the lottery.”
The Wabano Centre and City of Ottawa have used social media and radio to reach members of the community to ensure as many people as possible are aware they can sign up for a vaccine.
As a result, Ottawa Public Health said the phone lines have been busy with people wanting to book appointments at one of the clinics, “but we are addressing this.
“We want to see more people booking appointments, and we’d like First Nations, Inuit and Metis people to keep trying to book an appointment,” OPH spokeswoman Donna Casey said.
Casey says Indigenous adults are included in Phase 1 of the province’s ethical framework, which helps guide equitable distribution of the vaccine.
“People at increased risk of getting infected, developing complications and dying from COVID-19 are sequenced in Phase 1. That includes adults in First Nations, Métis and Inuit populations as well as front-line staff of indigenous community agencies.”
There were 38,115 Indigenous people in Ottawa and Gatineau as of the 2016 census.
The Inuit population in the region is officially about 1,300, but some estimates put it two or three times that high.
This content was originally published here.