Doses of COVID-19 vaccine are expected to reach close to 60 First Nations in British Columbia by the end of next week.
Dr. Shannon McDonald, the acting chief medical officer for the First Nations Health Authority, says there have been significant increases in the number of COVID-19 cases in the last two weeks.
She says “on-reserve” cases previously represented a quarter of the more than 2,500 reported cases among Indigenous people in B.C., but that’s risen to 40 per cent.
McDonald says 600 infections are active and 32 people have died.
She says vaccine delivery is being prioritized based on remoteness and whether a community has experienced a cluster or deaths.
At a news conference today, McDonald also addressed reports of racism levelled against Indigenous people as several communities fight to contain rising cases, including Cowichan Tribes on Vancouver Island.
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