COVID-19 vaccine arrives in remote Vancouver Island First Nations


Some of the first residents of the Namgis First Nation in Alert Bay received a Moderna COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday.

Namgis is one of 18 remote and isolated First Nations communities in B.C. who have now received shipments of the vaccine, including six on Vancouver Island.

Clinics have also started in Ehattesaht First Nation near Zeballos, a community that was hit hard by the virus in November with 28 of the 100 people who live there getting sick. All have since recovered.

READ MORE: Medical team sent to guide Vancouver Island First Nation through COVID-19 outbreak

While COVID-19 vaccination is starting to ramp up across the country it’s not fast enough for many, including the Prime Minister.

“I think all Canadians including me are frustrated to see vaccines in freezers and not in people’s arms,” Justin Trudeau said Tuesday.

Of the more than 420,000 doses of both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines Canada has received, only about 35 per cent have been administered.

B.C., however, is actually faring better than most provinces with about 50 per cent of doses administered to high-priority groups as of end of day Jan. 4.

While transportation has been part of the issue here in B.C., some premiers say Ottawa isn’t providing enough doses.

“Our message to the federal government, just keep these vaccines coming because we are going to be running out,” said Ontario Premier Doug Ford.

But the military commander leading the roll out says more is coming — 1.2 million doses by the end of January.

Despite the slow start to the program, Trudeau says he’s still confident everyone who wants a shot will have it by the end of September.

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April LawrenceApril Lawrence

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