• Stephen Lecce, MPP

Ontario Completes All First Dose COVID-19 Vaccinations in Northern Remote Indigenous Communities

March 08, 2021

TORONTO — Ontario has reached a key milestone in protecting remote and isolated Indigenous communities against COVID-19, having visited all 31 fly-in northern communities and Moosonee to offer first doses of the vaccine as part of Operation Remote Immunity. "A key part of our COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan is to ensure Ontario's Indigenous communities and residents are protected," said Christine Elliott, Deputy Premier and Minister of Health. "This important milestone could not have been achieved without the tremendous efforts of Indigenous leadership, community members, Ornge, and frontline health care workers coming together to stop the spread of COVID-19 in these at-risk communities." Operation Remote Immunity was launched to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to residents of First Nations elder care homes and Indigenous communities in remote areas, who face a disproportionate risk from the virus. Operation Remote Immunity is supported by Ornge, an air ambulance and critical care transport service under the leadership of COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force Member Dr. Homer Tien. The plan was co-developed in partnership with the Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) to ensure engagement of Indigenous leadership in how vaccines are offered to their communities. "This was a true team effort. We sincerely appreciate the tremendous support we are receiving from the government, community leadership and our partners," said Dr. Homer Tien, President and Chief Executive Officer of Ornge. "This milestone was only achieved because of the commu