First Nations in Manitoba still feeling effects of 4th wave of the pandemic

As the fourth wave of the pandemic continues, First Nations across the country are still feeling its effects.

In Manitoba, case numbers remain high and it is now recommended that First Nations, Inuit and Métis get a third vaccine dose.

First Nations people both on and off-reserve make up more than half of the active Covid-19 cases in the province.

As of Nov. 3, the Manitoba Pandemic First Nations Response Coordination Team says there are 731 active cases in the province – 75 off-reserve and 656 on-reserve.

The coordination team has also released statistics regarding COVID-19 in each tribal council area as tribal councils continue to fight the fourth wave, and the numbers remain high.

Out of seven tribal councils in Manitoba, many are seeing active cases in the double and even triple digits.

The Swampy Cree Tribal Council has seen 2,212 cases since the pandemic began and still has 136 active cases.

In northern Manitoba, Four Arrows Regional Health Authority recorded over 1,900 cases and currently has 13 active.

First Nations that are not part of a tribal council in the province have seen a combined 1,880 cases since the pandemic began and there are 41 combined active cases.

The third shot is available now.

“Just to be clear, when we’re talking about booster doses that what we’re talking about is wanting to maintain the very high protection levels that we’re getting after two doses of the vaccine.

“We want to get the boosters before the protection drops so much that we start to see more infections and more severe outcomes,” said Dr. Marcia Anderson of the First Nations pandemic response coordination team.

It’s recommended people wait at least six months from their last dose to receive a third.

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