Indigenous leaders blast Jason Kenney’s vaccine comments, call for more restrictions – Edmonton Journal

Apr 27, 2021

FORT MCMURRAY — First Nation and Métis leaders are accusing Premier Jason Kenney of blaming their communities for COVID-19’s viral spread in the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo (RMWB), and demanding an apology.

During an April 26 press conference, Kenney said there have been reports of widespread vaccine hesitancy in Indigenous communities, pointing to a February CBC article mentioning that 576 people out of 1,100 residents had received a vaccine.

All Fort Chipewyan residents were made eligible for COVID-19 vaccines earlier this year because of the community’s isolated location and limited health care resources. Kenney also said the RMWB has a large vaccine supply sitting unused.

“The population up there is disproportionately Indigenous,” said Kenney. “We’ve had a much lower age eligibility for vaccination for that First Nations population, and we have done a lot of extra outreach efforts working with the First Nations to address vaccine hesitancy and to make it as convenient as possible in a culturally sensitive way to deliver those vaccines.”

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