Special COVID vaccination clinic for Indigenous people to be held in Midland

·2 min read

An Indigenous COVID-19 vaccination clinic is to be held on Friday, March 26 at the North Simcoe Sports and Recreation Centre in Midland.

According to a news release from the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit the special clinic is being hosted by health care providers from Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Primary Health Care, Chigamik Community Health Centre, Beausoleil Family Health Centre and the health unit.

The release stated that prior to opening the clinic for the day, an Elder in the community will bless the vaccine entering the premises with a smudge ceremony.

“Local Indigenous services, including Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin, Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, and several other Indigenous leaders and organizations in the region have been collaborating with the health unit to plan and provide COVID-19 vaccination opportunities to urban and rural Indigenous populations. The clinic in Midland on Friday is the second of three community clinics planned for the urban and rural Indigenous population. The next clinic will take place on March 30 in Barrie at the Holly Community Centre," the release stated.

Indigenous communities have been identified as a high priority for vaccination. All Indigenous adults 16 years of age or older, living in the Simcoe Muskoka region are eligible to preregister for an appointment by visiting www.smdhu.org/COVID19. Non-Indigenous adults who live in the same household as an Indigenous adult receiving the vaccine and are 16 years of age or older are also eligible to book an appointment, the release stated.

“The vaccine clinics have really been a collaborative effort to help keep our communities healthy and safe,” said Lynn Monague-Sauvé, President, Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle, which is the governing organization for Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Indigenous Primary Care Team. “Earlier this month in Orillia over 250 people received the vaccine and we expect around 400 at the Midland clinic and a strong showing at the upcoming Barrie clinic.

Monague-Sauvé added that people have been excited and hopeful as they show up to the clinics.

“This has made for a very happy and exciting look at what’s to come. As we continue to work with our partners we want to make sure all Indigenous adults can receive the vaccine when they want one.”

John McFadden, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Orillia Today