COVID-19 vaccines and Indigenous peoples
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COVID-19 vaccinations underway
The Government of Canada is working to secure safe and effective vaccines to prevent COVID-19. This is key to stopping the spread of COVID-19 and resuming normal life.
As of June 18, 2021, Indigenous Services Canada (ISC) is aware of:
- 687 communities with vaccinations underway (for either priority groups or all adults) in:
- First Nations and Inuit communities in provinces
- communities in territories
- 588,916 doses have been administered, of that 227,408 were second doses in individuals aged 12+.
To find out more about the progress in administration of vaccines:
Information for Indigenous youth
- On May 5, 2021, Health Canada authorized the use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for people as young as 12. Since then, vaccine roll-out for younger age groups is ramping up across the country
- Even if you are young and healthy, vaccination is still an important step to get back to normal activities. The faster we can all get vaccinated, the faster we can play sports, go to school, participate in ceremonies and see friends and family
- You should get vaccinated because:
- COVID-19 and the variants do not care how old you are
- Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine has been tested and proven to be safe and effective for youth
- by getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will help yourself and protect those who may be more likely to contract it at your school, in your community or within your family
- Risk of severe complications or even death is much greater if you catch COVID-19 than the risks of a severe reaction after getting the vaccine, especially with the new variants
- Wanting to protect your body and make informed choices is natural. There is no evidence that any vaccines, including those for COVID-19, affect your ability to have children in the future.
To find out more:
- Kids help phone: we're here for you during COVID-19
- COVID-19 resources for youth, students and young adults
- First Nations of Quebec and Labrador health and social services commission: Charles Philippe Vincent's testimony
- Health Canada authorizes use of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in children 12 to 15 years of age
Information for Indigenous peoples in urban communities
- ISC is working closely with provinces and territories, First Nations, Inuit and Métis partners, the National Association of Friendship Centres and other urban community service organizations to support current planning efforts
- This includes:
- identifying challenges and opportunities for increasing vaccination for Indigenous peoples, no matter where they live
- making the vaccines more available in locations that are welcoming and accessible to Indigenous peoples
- First Nations living off reserve, Inuit and Métis are or will receive COVID-19 vaccination through their provincial or territorial health services
- to find out more, please consult your provincial or territorial roll-out plan
- ISC does not administer vaccines in urban communities but we do support current planning efforts
- organizations that may offer more information include:
Why vaccinate against COVID-19
By getting a COVID-19 vaccine, you will be protected and will help prevent the spread of the virus to those who may be more likely to contract it, such as:
- Elders and older adults
- residents and staff of long-term care homes
- people with certain medical conditions where infection could cause severe illness and death
ISC encourages all First Nations, Inuit and Métis to receive the vaccine to protect themselves, their families and communities.
Vaccines are safe
- Vaccination is a personal choice. Public health experts agree it helps prevent serious disease.
- Vaccines are safe. They protect you and those around you from preventable diseases.
- National Indigenous organizations, some national Indigenous health organizations and Indigenous leaders have been involved in planning for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to Indigenous communities.
- Learn about:
- Recommendations on the use of COVID-19 vaccines (PDF)
- Vaccine community innovation challenge: funding recipients
- Statement from the Council of Chiefs Medical Officers of Health: interchangeability of authorized COVID-19 vaccines
- Vaccine Injury Support Program
- Vaccines for COVID-19: What to expect at your vaccination
- Indigenous Services Canada COVID-19 Vaccine Plan executive summary
- Canada's COVID-19 Immunization Plan
- Vaccines for COVID-19: authorized vaccines