Sister Health Organizations administer over 500 Pfizer-BioTech vaccines across the district of Mnidoo Mnising.
March 12, 2021
It has been a busy week for the staff of Mnaamodzawin Health Services and Noojmowin Teg Health Centre, as the two sister organizations hosted several COVID-19 vaccination clinics across the district of Mnidoo Mnising. Working with each of the below community health centers, 503 Pfizer-BioTech vaccines were administered to Indigenous (First Nation, Metis and Inuit) populations as well as to frontline healthcare workers in our service area.
Clinics took place March 8th – 11th in Whitefish River First Nation, Aundeck Omni Kaning, Sheguiandah First Nation and Sheshegwaning First Nation. “It was a team approach with excellent partnership with Mnaamodzawain Health Services” said Noojmowin Teg Primary Care Manager, Kim Warren. “Tremendous efforts were made by the nurses, practitioners, staff volunteers, and all community partners who were on-site each day to ensure a smooth process”.
Coordination with local Paramedics is required on-site in case of emergencies as well as communication with Public Health Sudbury & Districts is required to successfully be able to receive and administer the vaccines. “Public Health transports the vaccines every morning from Sudbury to each of our clinics here on the island,” says Warren.
In addition, Anishinabek cultural support services were offered by Noojmowin Teg Traditional Healer Support Thecla Neganegijig. “At each location, members of Mnaamodzawin Health Services staff smudged the interior of the buildings, which was so important and helped to set us up for a good day with positive energy”, said the Primary Care Manager.
For some recipients entering the clinics, emotions were high as many felt gratitude to be provided the opportunity to receive the vaccine.
Healthcare providers were in high spirits throughout the week, “There was laughter and even some dancing that took place amongst the healthcare providers, everyone was excited about what we were doing”, Warren commented.
On Thursday, during the clinic in Sheshegwaning the group was met with a wind storm and power outage that required quick action to ensure the vaccines did not go to waste. “That was a challenge, but the nurses worked quickly and effectively to ensure the vaccines were safely mixed and into the arms of recipients. It was a monumental day, as we acknowledged the pandemic in Canada was announced 1 year ago”, said Kim Warren.
The next steps include additional clinics for these two organizations over the coming weeks including recipients receiving the 2nd dose of the Pfizer BioTech vaccine, the dates which has yet to be confirmed. "We are extremely grateful to have been approached by Mnaamodzawin Health Services and asked to be a partner with them in the vaccine roll-out, chi-miigwetch to the organization for including us in this opportunity", concludes Warren.