Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Tribes to receive COVID-19 vaccine

Roll-out planned for Wednesday as community deals with outbreak

The first shipment of COVID-19 vaccinations to Cowichan Tribes is expected to arrive on Tuesday, Jan. 12, with the first doses planned for Wednesday.

“We’ve been informed by Island Health that we are likely to receive the vaccines today,” Cowichan Tribes general manager Derek Thompson said on Tuesday morning. “We will begin with the roll-out of vaccinating our members tomorrow.”

Cowichan Tribes has been hit hard by COVID-19. The first cases in the First Nation were discovered on Jan. 1, and as of Monday, Jan. 11, there were at least 70 cases. Chief and council issued a shelter-in-place order on Jan. 6 that will last until at least Jan. 22.

Under the order, all members are required to stay at home. Access to residential areas and residential buildings on reserve land is restricted. Barriers and checkpoints are being set up to enforce the order and provide information.

Residents may only leave their homes for work, school, medical appointments, to get groceries, medicine or other essential items, or to care for a family member who is ill. Households are asked to designate one person to go shopping, and to limit shopping trips to once per week. If possible, they should order over the phone and have essential items delivered to their homes.

Residents are not permitted to gather or hold events indoors or outdoors with people from outside their household.

Island Health told Cowichan Tribes to expect 600 doses of the vaccine, which will require recipients to get a follow-up shot at a later date.

Members over the age of 60 will be first in line for the vaccine.

“Our priority is vaccinating elders in the community,” Thomson explained. “We will make every effort to provide 600 doses tomorrow.”

The largest First Nation in B.C., Cowichan Tribes has about 5,000 members. Thompson doesn’t have exact numbers, but he estimates there are about 400 members over the age of 60.

Cowichan Tribes used a drive-up clinic to deliver the flu vaccine in the fall of 2020, and about 1,000 members took advantage of that. Thompson expects to use a similar format to administer the COVID-19 vaccine, with a clinic set up outside the administration buildings on Allenby Road.

Word that the vaccines will be delivered has been met with a positive response from the community.

“In line with our COVID-19 response plan, we made a commitment to be completely transparent and accountable,” Thompson said. “And that has been reciprocated with gratitude.”

The Tribes government is cautiously optimistic. “We are certainly excited,” Thompson said. “But we acknowledge this is another step in the process. For months, maybe even another year, we will still have to maintain Bonnie Henry’s directives to keep everyone safe.”

For more information about the vaccine roll-out in Cowichan Tribes, Thompson advised members to monitor cowichantribes.com, the Cowichan Tribes Facebook page, and the Ts’ewulhtun Health Centre Facebook page.

CoronavirusCowichan Tribes

 

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Tribes members line up at a drive-up clinic on Wednesday, Jan. 13 to receive the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine in the region. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

Cowichan Tribes expects to start vaccinating members against COVID-19 on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Citizen file)

Cowichan Tribes expects to start vaccinating members against COVID-19 on Wednesday, Jan. 13. (Citizen file)

Just Posted

A rockfall closed Finlayson Arm Road and West Shore Parkway on Friday (March 5) afternoon. (Twitter/BC Transportation)
UPDATED: Malahat reopens following rockfall

Section of Trans-Canada Highway was scheduled for intermittent closures today for rock scaling work

The Tsartlip First Nation was outraged after Green MLA Adam Olsen revealed on social media that the community had been experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak – a fact the First Nation had chosen to keep private to avoid racist backlash as experienced by the Cowichan Tribes when an outbreak was declared there in January. (Black Press Media file photo)
Tsartlip First Nation ‘outraged’ after Green MLA revealed COVID-19 outbreak

Chief shares concerns about racist backlash, MLA Adam Olsen apologizes

A man holds a picture of Chantel Moore during a healing gathering at the B.C. Legislature in Victoria on June 18, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
‘Police have killed more Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation members than COVID’

First Nation demands transparency in probe into Tofino RCMP shooting of Julian Jones

The B.C. Supreme Court ruled Feb. 26 that the estate of deceased Sooke man and Hells Angels prospect Michael Widner is to be divided between his wife and his secret spouse. (Black Press Media file photo)
Estate of deceased Hells Angels prospect from Sooke to be divided between wife and secret spouse

Michael Widner’s 2017 death left a number of unanswered questions

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C. on the COVID-19 situation. (B.C. government)
Dr. Bonnie Henry predicts a ‘post-pandemic world’ for B.C. this summer

‘Extending this second dose provides very high real-world protection to more people, sooner’

Malawian police guard AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines after the shipment arrived in Lilongwe, Malawi, Friday March 5, 2021. Canada is expecting its first shipments of AstraZeneca vaccine next week. (Associated Press/Thoko Chikondi)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 cases climb to 634 Friday, four more deaths

Currently 255 people in hospital, 66 in intensive care

A Port Alberni RCMP car blocks access to Anderson Avenue at Burde Street. (RCMP PHOTO)
Replica firearm prompts police incident in Port Alberni

RCMP had blocked off a neighbourhood while searching for ‘man with a gun’

A Victoria resident was scammed out of $1,700 after a fraudster impersonated a police officer and convinced the victim to pay a non-existent fine in Bitcoin. (Unsplash)
Fraudster impersonates Victoria police officer, steals $1,700 in Bitcoin

Phone call showed up as VicPD’s non-emergency line

A crashed helicopter is seen near Mt. Gardner on Bowen Island on Friday March 5, 2021. Two people were taken to hospital in serious but stable condition after the crash. (Irene Paulus/contributed)
2 people in serious condition after helicopter goes down on Bowen Island

Unclear how many passengers aboard and unclear where the helicopter was going

Supporters rally outside court as Pastor James Coates of GraceLife Church is in court to appeal bail conditions, after he was arrested for holding day services in violation of COVID-19 rules, in Edmonton, Alta., on Thursday March 4, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
‘Law remains valid:’ Pastor accused of violating health orders to remain in jail

The Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms is representing the pastor

Walkers ascend Mount Douglas Park on Sunday, Feb. 7. Visits to Saanich Parks are up 46 per cent compared to pre-pandemic statistics this time last year. (Darrell Wick Photo)
Oak Bay, Saanich parks peak in popularity during pandemic

Oak Bay spent an extra $5,000 on park toilet paper in 2020

On Feb. 27, a construction vehicle remained on the site of the former encampment between the Pat Bay Highway and McKenzie Avenue as part a clean-up effort. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
Encampment between Pat Bay Highway, McKenzie Avenue cleared, all residents relocated

Efforts to disband encampment resumed after January fire

Holly the stuffed Rottweiler has been missing from the front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb. 24. (Submitted photo)
Holly the stuffed Rottweiler is missing from Duncan shop

Toy dog missing from front of Lucky Dog U-Bath since Feb.24

Most Read