Health Canada announced this week that it has authorized the first COVID-19 vaccine for use in Canada. Two other vaccines are under review, with the expectation that wide-scale vaccinations will begin in the New Year.
“Vaccine approval marks a turning point in our fight against COVID-19," said Dr. Shannon McDonald, Acting Chief Medical Officer of the FNHA. “The FNHA is working with our health system partners and First Nations leaders to ensure our communities get access to COVID-19 vaccines as soon as we can."
Initially, only small quantities of vaccine will be available, requiring that vaccinations take place in a sequenced rollout. First Nations individuals in rural or remote areas are among the first priority populations and are expected to receive immunizations on a voluntary basis in February and March.
“More vaccines and more quantities of vaccines are expected in the New Year," said Dr. McDonald. “These will allow for community vaccination programs and broader vaccinations of First Nations people – and others. In the meantime, it's important that we continue to stay strong and stay the course against COVID-19. That means continue physical distancing, stick to our household bubbles, avoid social gatherings, and be calm and kind to one another."
Read the news from the Government of Canada that safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will soon be available.
More information on COVID vaccines is available from:
• BC Centre for Disease Control• Government of BC COVID website
• BC Centre for Disease Control
• Government of BC COVID website