A remote Manitoba First Nations community says it is now winning the fight against COVID-19 as many in the community have made the choice to get vaccinated.
In a video posted Monday, Pimicikamak Cree Nation Chief David Monias said that in the community, which is about 530 kilometers north of Winnipeg and is home to about 8,500 reserve residents, 90 percent of the members of the eligible community have now been fully vaccinated against COVID. -19.
In his video message, Monias thanked the residents who received the vaccine, but added that he was also grateful that a high vaccination rate could reduce the number of sick children in the community.
“To citizens, family and friends, I just want to say on behalf of the chief and council thank you to the people who have been vaccinated, and thank you for protecting your children. Monias said.
It has been a difficult time in the community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Monias said in the video, so the vaccination numbers should be a relief for him and many others in the community.
Pimicikamak has entered and exited lockdowns and has at times taken measures to prevent the transmission of COVID, including not allowing non-essential workers or those without a medical appointment to come or leave the community.
The Points Community has also created checkpoints to monitor traffic, collect contact information, and check temperatures of those allowed in.
Pimicikamak also called on the Canadian Armed Forces earlier this year to provide assistance during the worst of the pandemic, as at one point in late February the community had 178 active cases, 87 of which were children.
“And I mean we went through some rough times, but we saw the light, we went through the tunnel and went through it together,” said Monias. “You are strong, you are truly committed to the health and well-being of our community, and I thank you very much for that.”
The Chief now has a message for those who are unsure or are not planning to be vaccinated in the Cree Nation of Pimicikamak.
“For those who have not yet been vaccinated, please do so for the betterment of our community, for the protection of our children and for our future. ” he said.
Information found on the Province of Manitoba website Tuesday showed that in all Manitoba First Nations communities in the province combined, approximately 69% of on-reserve residents who are eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine have been fully vaccinated.
– Dave Baxter is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter working for the Winnipeg Sun. The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada.