Booster dose campaigns for 70+

·3 min read

The campaign for COVID-19 booster vaccines officially launched in Kahnawake.

As part of the roll-out, immunocompromised Kahnawa’kehró:non, along with those aged 70 years and up, are now able to book an appointment with the Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre (KMHC).

“It’s important for people to get the third dose in order to have the highest level of protection

against COVID-19,” said KMHC executive director Lisa Westaway. “This is in line with scientific data stating that vaccine efficiency wanes – (this happens) especially for people who are older or immunocompromised.”

Community members of the two targeted groups who received their second dose six months ago can book time slots at the clinic, which began offering boosters on November 16.

With specific dates for individuals requiring either the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine, Westaway said the campaign was organized to meet all of the possible demands.

“Now, whether we fill those days or not is what’s left to be seen,” said the executive director.

To facilitate the distribution of boosters and limit logistical barriers for individuals with distinct needs, KMHC has arranged to offer different accommodations.

Approximately a month ago, Kahnawa’kehró:non at the Turtle Elders’ Lodge, the Independent Living Center, and KMHC’s Inpatient Care Unit were given the possibility of receiving their third dose without needing to leave their residences.

Moreover, while the ongoing vaccination clinic is set up at the Knights of Columbus Hall on the Old Malone Highway, Westaway said individuals receiving home care services or who have other requirements may contact the hospital to coordinate special arrangements.

“We don’t want to have any obstacles in the way of getting the vaccines for people who want them, so we are doing all that we can,” she said.

At the same time, as booster vaccines make their way to Kahnawa’kehró:non, Kanesatake community members 70 years and older can also look forward to receiving theirs starting next month.

“People are likely to see each other more during the holidays this year than in previous years. To reduce the risk of transmission, it’s important to get vaccinated and get those booster doses,” said Kanesatake Health Center (KHC) Homecare nurse Stéphanie Leroux.

The KHC announced this week that two vaccination clinic dates had been scheduled. On December 3, the centre will welcome Kanehsata’kehró:non, who received the Pfizer vaccine as their second dose, while those last administered Moderna will be able to receive their booster dose on December 17.

Although the majority of residents at the Riverside Elder’s Home already received their third dose of the vaccine, Leroux explained that, based on numbers from the second vaccine campaign, KHC estimated that as many as 150 seniors could book an appointment for the December clinics.

“The idea is really to prevent serious cases of COVID-19 and to protect the most vulnerable in the community,” expressed Leroux.

With nine Kanehsata’kehró:non aged 70 years and above, as well as a number of immunocompromised community members to have already received their booster dose, the KHC nurse emphasized the significance of this campaign and the upcoming one targeting children.

“There may be some reluctance with vaccinating children, but the possibility remains that they will be the primary transmitters after the holidays,” said Leroux.

“In the end, it’s being vaccinated and getting these booster doses that will help us from having serious cases or going to the hospital, and protecting everyone – especially our elderly.”

laurence.b.dubreuil@gmail.com

Laurence Brisson Dubreuil, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eastern Door

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