COVID-19 Daily News Digest – December 27th, 2020
Health experts say general public could wait several month to access COVID-19 vaccines
He said even with two vaccines, it could be summer 2021 before everyone could have access.
“Everyone is trying to make this stuff as fast as they can but it’s not just the manufacturing it’s the distribution, it’s not just the vaccine but the vials the vaccine has to get stored in, its refrigeration. There are just a lot of real complicated issue,” said Allhoff.
Info about rising, nearby COVID-19 cases is key for First Nations communities
“We just want information about how many COVID-19 cases there were in nearby communities … that are close to our reserves, that our members are going to utilize all the time, so we could tell them, ‘We are on lockdown because there are so many cases,’” said Judith Sayers, the president of the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council, which includes 14 communities on Vancouver Island.
She said having to be more general with information, flagging risk in broad terms rather than giving more specific details about infection rates, is not as compelling.
“They want to put conditions on us using the information. … It’s pretty difficult for us,” she said. “We end up saying, ‘Just trust us, we have the information to back it up, but can’t share it.’ That’s (not) very sell-able to our communities.”
Indigenous Nations Handle COVID as Federal and State Governments Fall Short
In our analysis, tribal nations have implemented guidelines and policies that appear to be far more effective than those used by the states they are in. These responses include locking down roads and implementing guidelines earlier and more carefully than others and developing relevant modes of delivery of supplies. Their response shows that Indigenous nations and communities know what they need; they are the directors of their own protective measures.
Nunavut to see up to 6,000 doses of Moderna vaccine this month
The Moderna vaccine — approved by Health Canada earlier on Wednesday — is considered best for the northern territories, because the doses are more easily shipped and stored than the Pfizer vaccine that is already being administered in urban centres.
“Once the vaccine is here and administered, hopefully it’s the start of the end of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully it will start us getting our life back to normalcy,” Savikataaq told CBC News on Wednesday.
“We’re excited about starting it and we expect that sometime before the end of this month that we will get the Moderna vaccine in Nunavut and once it’s in we will start rolling out the vaccine plan,” he said.
Meanwhile, the territory announced two new active cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, for a total of eight active cases. One of those cases is in Arviat and the other is in Whale Cove, where all previous cases were recovered.
Wellington woman collects thousands of masks for Indigenous communities in Quebec
More than 15,000 masks and personal protective equipment (PPE) are on their way to remote Indigenous communities in Nunavik, northern Quebec, all thanks to the effort of a woman in Erin Township in Wellington County.
Tauni Sheldon took to Facebook earlier this month asking people to donate masks and PPE to send to her hometown of Inukjuak, a small fly-in community of 2,000 people located in the Nunavik area.
Her original goal was to collect 2,000 masks for her community, but instead she received roughly 15,000 donations, enough to share with neighbouring Indigenous communities, she said.
“I didn’t think it would be that much and I’m very thankful,” she said. “People just kept contacting me.”
Project to use virtual reality technology to teach Nisga’a culture and language
Amy Parent, a Nisga’a researcher and assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies in the Faculty of Education at the University of British Columbia. The project is a collaboration between Parent, traditional knowledge holders and hereditary chiefs of the Nisga’a Nation and is funded by the Social Sciences Humanities Research Council’s New Frontiers in Research Fund.
“I think the language revitalization component is really important for us to continue trying to spark the interest and the commitment of our future generations of youth to learn their language and to engage in that,” said Parent.