Albertans in Wheatland County, Vulcan County and Newell County can now get COVID-19 vaccinations from the immunization clinic on the nearby Siksika Nation.
The nation says its vaccine clinic is intended to fill the gaps in service for Albertans in rural areas by strengthening the province's vaccine rollout strategy.
Ouray Crowfoot, chief of the Siksika Nation, said it is his honour to offer this invitation.
"Now is the time for us to come together in the spirit of caring and protecting one another, to get through this pandemic together," he said.
Amber Link, Reeve of Wheatland County, says she is grateful the nation is able to support rural residents in accessing immunizations closer to home.
"Access to health care, including vaccines, can be challenging for our residents, and this clinic will make it easier for area residents who would like to receive the COVID vaccine," she said.
"We are on a path to forging strong relationships among the leaders in our region. While COVID slowed our work at times, it can also be a catalyst for collaboration. As we emerge from the pandemic and the economic crisis, we will be stronger if we work together."
Jason Schneider, Reeve of Vulcan County, says for residents of the north part of the county, access to this clinic will save them a lot of travel time.
"There's been a few that we've spoken to that say they are planning on going up and taking advantage of the service."
Schneider says the pandemic response by Siksika has been exemplary.
"They've gone above and beyond in this COVID-19 response. They're sitting at zero cases, and that's not by accident because they've really put in the time and effort," he said.
"They've been a leader in the area and they've got to the point that they have extra and they reached out to their neighbours and and made the offer to us. We're glad to have neighbours that think about us when they have extra."
The clinic will provide first doses of Moderna to adults born in 2003 or earlier, and Pfizer vaccines to youths born in 2004 to 2009.
Nation spokesperson Kelsey No Runner says that since Jan. 1, the nation has administered more than 4,500 first and second doses to nation members and people living and working on the reserve.
"We continue to set an example for not only First Nations, but communities in general in Canada. In regard to COVID-19 response, we continue to provide a high level of service for testing, contact tracing and support for those isolating on reserve, and we will continue to do the same when it comes to vaccine roll out."
Appointments can be booked online.