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Wikwemikong Nursing Home residents, staff among first in northeastern Ont. to receive COVID vaccine

First Nation said those at the care home will receive Moderna vaccine this week
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SUDBURY - Residents and staff at Wikwemikong Nursing Home on Manitoulin Island will be the first in the Sudbury district to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

They will also be among the first in northeastern Ontario to receive the vaccine. Politicians in northeastern Ontario have complained that little information has been shared by government about the vaccine rollout in this part of the province.

On Jan. 7, the vaccine rollout started along the James Bay coast. Moose Cree First Nation received the first doses of the Moderna vaccine at the Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory.

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory put out a press release Jan. 12, saying residents and staff at the care home will start receiving the Moderna vaccine this week.

“On behalf of council, I am pleased to report that the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be arriving this week and are designated for our nursing home residents and staff,” said Ogimaa Duke Peltier, in a press release.

“We are relieved to be able to provide our most vulnerable with the vaccination. Wiikwemkoong was been diligent in taking all the measures possible to keep our citizens and community free from the spread of COVID-19.

“We will continue to practice all the recommendations from health officials and our pandemic team.”

The First Nation said it believes that immunization against the virus is one important way to protect its community from COVID-19 and will be encouraging everyone to get the vaccine as it becomes available.

“I am thrilled to see the vaccine getting into the arms of the most vulnerable people in our area, and those who care for them,” said Dr. Penny Sutcliffe, medical officer of health with Public Health Sudbury & Districts.

“Chief Peltier and the staff of the Wikwemikong Nursing Home are the champions, and Public Health Sudbury & Districts are proud to support them in this historic moment.

“Vaccines are a critical tool in our fight against COVID-19. I look forward to our continued collaboration for a safe, effective and efficient rollout of the vaccine to protect against COVID-19.”