Feds should detail vaccination plan for Indigenous communities: NDP

The health care of Indigenous people is the job of the federal government, which needs to provide a transparent plan to provide vaccines to Indigenous communities, many of which are remote and hard to access, says NDP health critic Don Davies. 

The Canadian Press

OTTAWA — NDP health critic Don Davies says the federal government should come up with a plan to roll COVID-19 vaccines out in Indigenous communities immediately.

Speaking to a virtual news conference today, Davies says the federal government has deferred to the provinces to determine who will be vaccinated first but Indigenous health falls squarely in federal jurisdiction.

He says Ottawa should detail a plan to ensure Pfizer-BioNTech's vaccine and others will be delivered to Indigenous communities that are experiencing health crises similar to or even worse than in urban centres.

Davies says Ottawa should consider flying people from remote communities to major centres to get the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which is hard to transport, and consider bringing the vaccine to central hubs in rural or remote areas.

He says none of the current 14 vaccine sites is targeted to COVID-19 hot spots in rural or remote areas and that shows a consistent flaw in the way the federal government fails to prioritize Indigenous health care.

Indigenous Services Canada said Friday that it's working closely with Indigenous and non-Indigenous partners to support an integrated and co-ordinated approach to support the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine for Indigenous people.

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