Hamilton

Six Nations to vaccinate community members aged 60 and up plus health-care workers

Six Nations of the Grand River has approved its priority matrix for distributing COVID-19 vaccines to community members.

Vaccinations nearly complete at Iroquois Lodge, the Jay Silverheels Complex

The timing of this plan, says a media release from Six Nations of the Grand River, will depend on vaccine availability.  (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Six Nations of the Grand River has approved its priority matrix for distributing COVID-19 vaccines to community members. 

It said the next phase in its roll out includes vaccinating community members above 60-years-old, first responders, front line healthcare workers, home care health workers, and high-risk individuals living in congregate care settings. 

The timing of this plan, says a media release from Six Nations of the Grand River, will depend on vaccine availability. 

The matrix considers the risk of severe outcomes and mitigation potential in order to determine what populations should be prioritized to receive the COVID-19 vaccines, the release says.

It was approved at a special council meeting on Friday by the Six Nations Elected Council.  

"This will ensure that our most vulnerable within the community will receive the vaccine first," it said. 

A "very limited supply of the vaccine" has been available in the initial phases of the roll out. At the moment, vaccinations are nearly complete for interested residents of Iroquois Lodge and the Jay Silverheels Complex.

All of the vaccinations will be followed by wide access to community members. 

Vaccine registration

A vaccine registration form is available online to help Ohsweken and Six Nations Health Services plan for the distribution. 

Any community members who want to be vaccinated can fill out the form at any time and will be contact as more doses of the vaccines become available, the release said. 

"The vaccine is not mandatory and anyone who is wanting to be vaccinated will be vaccinated as more supply becomes available."

The form, which was launched on Feb. 20, has received a high volume of registration. 

Six Nations Elected Council is thanking the vaccine task force, frontline health-care workers, and community for "persevering through an incredibly difficult year to get to this point."

The roll out is in its early stages, Six Nations of the Grand River says, and people must continue to follow public health guidelines, including wearing a mask, social distancing, washing your hands, staying home, and not interacting with those outside of your household. 

Six Nations remains in Alert Level Black of its colour-coded framework.

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