COVID-19 vaccines are rolling out in Alberta. The Your Health, Our Strength campaign was developed to provide Indigenous People with credible information about the COVID-19 vaccines.
Modern medicines, such as the COVID-19 vaccine, in relationship with our traditional teachings can work together to help protect community members, especially our Elders. If you decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine, offer protocol and ask Creator to bless it. Keep your mind open to it’s healing properties and learn more about the vaccine before you book your appointment.
Know the facts about the vaccines being offered in order to make the best decision for your health, and the health of your community.
Your health is our strength.
We have put together images you can share on social media with your friends and family. Download these images and encourage others to get the facts about the vaccine in order to make an informed decision.
We want to be a healthy community so we can be forceful and strong for generations to come.
If you serve an Indigenous community or organization in Alberta we have created assets that you can customize with your logo, print and share.
Howard Mustus shares his vaccination story.
Dr. Lafontaine says there were no safety shortcuts in developing the vaccines. Companies were given more support and resources due to the global crisis to develop these vaccines as quickly as possible.
Dr. Evan Adams, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada, shares how COVID-19 is affecting his family.
Dr. Alika LaFontaine shares information on how vaccines work.
Dr. Alika Lafontaine shares his views on the COVID-19 vaccines as a solution from the Creator.
Doreen Alexis shares her vaccination story.
Elder Rod Alexis shares his views on the COVID-19 protocols.
Jasmine Alexis, Executive Assistant for the Education Department of Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, explains why she got the COVID-19 vaccine.
Duane Kootenay, the Director of Emergency Management for Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation, explains why he got the COVID-19 vaccine.
Elder and Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation member Gloria Potts talks about doing her part as an Elder and grandmother to educate her family about the Covid-19 vaccines.
We hear from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation member Tracy Potts on life during the pandemic and her response to the Covid-19 vaccine.
Dr. Makokis tells us why it's important for eligible Indigenous peoples to consider vaccination.
Dr. Makokis tells us how Western medicine and traditional knowledge can work together to protect Indigenous people.
Medical Director of the Elbow River Healing Lodge, Dr. Lana Potts, tells us how to get the right information about COVID-19 vaccines.
Dr. Lana Potts tells us her story of navigating COVID-19, and blending western science with Indigenous teachings and knowledge.
We sat down with some trusted voices in our community to talk about COVID-19 vaccines. We had conversations with Dr. Alika LaFontaine, Dr. Evan Adams and Elder Howard Mustus from Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation.
Howard Mustus Sr. is an Elder from the Alexis Nakota Sioux Nation. As a retiree, Mustus and his wife have been travelling the world and enjoying their free time. They planned to make 2020 another year to explore and see new places but the pandemic took that opportunity away.
As an Indigneous person with Cree, Anishnaabe, Métis and Pacific Islander roots, Dr. Lafontaine understands the hesitancy that many First Nations people face when considering getting vaccinated for the Coronavirus.
Dr. Evan Adams, Deputy Chief Medical Officer of Public Health, Indigenous Services Canada and formerly Chief Medical Officer of the First Nations Health Authority in B.C., tells stories about his life and the importance of vaccination.
"I need to take it so I can survive and continue to help our young people become strong and resilient. This is a virus that has no mercy."
For Rod, "Your Health, Our Strength" isn't just a phrase - it is a healthy, natural space where our people can live free of disease and worry.
Know the facts about the vaccines being offered to make the best decision for your health, and the health of your community.How do vaccines work?
Vaccines contain weakened or inactive parts of a particular organism (antigen) that triggers an immune response within the body. Newer vaccines contain the blueprint for producing antigens. The vaccine provides enough of the antigen that our body learns to build the specific antibody. This way, if the body encounters the real antigen later, it knows how to respond and defeat it.
The vaccine is recommended for people with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes and/or heart disease. This is because most people with underlying health conditions are vulnerable to developing a severe illness if they contract COVID-19, and vaccines are the most effective way to prevent that from happening.
Yes. Your child has already received vaccines that protect them from 15 serious diseases. Diseases such as polio and rubella have been wiped out in Canada because of vaccines. The approved Covid 19 vaccines in Canada have proven to be safe and effective in children aged 12 and up. Increasingly, children and young adults have had higher rates of COVID-19 infection in Alberta and they can be hospitalized with severe disease. Health Canada has only approved vaccinations for children 12 and older.
Vaccinating your children will ensure that families can get back to their daily routines. Through vaccination we can achieve community immunity - which means we can protect people who can't be vaccinated due to pre-existing health issues.
Children might experience the same common vaccine side effects, such as pain, redness and swelling in the spot where the needle was administered. Flu-like symptoms are common, including chills, fatigue, joint pain, headache, mild fever and muscle aches. Children could become more irritable than usual.
If your children experience any unusual symptoms, not included here, please contact your healthcare provider. If it is an emergency, please call 911.
Some children, who are anxious about needles, can experience stress-related symptoms. These could include pale skin, sweating, dizziness, numbness or tingling, rapid breathing and a loss of sensation in face, hands, or feet.
To calm your child, encourage them to try slow, deep breaths for 10 seconds.
Some children may faint while under stress. Fainting has no negative effects on its own, but it can lead to children injuring themselves if they fall. Inform the physician if your child has a history of fainting. Clinics will provide a space for your child to lay down for their vaccination.
The nurse giving the vaccine will assess your child for any specific contraindications to the vaccine. Questions about allergy testing should be raised with your primary care practitioner. Fortunately, the risk of anaphylaxis to the vaccine is very low. Anaphylaxis is treatable. Some of the symptoms include an itchy rash, swelling of the lips, face, airway, and tongue, an increased heart rate, loss of consciousness, sudden low blood pressure, abdominal pain, vomiting and diarrhea, sneezing, coughing, and difficulty breathing. Anyone receiving a vaccination is asked to stay 15 minutes after receiving the dose to monitor for adverse reactions.
If your child experiences any of these symptoms after leaving the vaccination site, call 911.
It can be difficult to separate the truth and facts about vaccinations. Widespread immunization has been proven to be one of the most successful public health strategies against numerous diseases. The COVID-19 vaccine can help protect you and others around you, particularly people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
COVID-19 can cause severe medical complications and lead to death in some people. It affects each person differently and there's no way to know how it will directly impact you. If you get COVID-19, it is highly transmissible to those in your family and community.
To ensure vaccines are safe, there are many processes and standards in place. The COVID-19 vaccine has been rigorously tested and approved by Health Canada. The process to develop the vaccine was accelerated while still meeting the highest standards. With the urgent need to end the pandemic, interruptions between stages (such as funding) that most vaccines come across were eliminated or shortened to speed up the process.
Many strict protective measures are in place to ensure the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Like all vaccines, COVID-19 vaccines must go through a rigorous, multi-step process, including large-scale trials involving tens of thousands of people. These trials, which include groups at high risk for COVID-19 (certain groups, such as pregnant and breastfeeding women, were not included in vaccine trials), are specifically designed to identify any common side effects or other problems of security.
The legacy of the residential school system, past unethical medical experiments and ongoing racism are very serious issues that can influence your decision.
Receiving the COVID-19 vaccine is an individual's choice. The federal, provincial, and territorial governments are aware that some individuals are unsure about receiving the COVID-19 vaccines. They are aware that seeking free, prior, and informed consent from individuals prior to vaccination is essential and required.
National Indigenous organizations, some national Indigenous health organizations, and Indigenous Elders and leaders have been involved in planning for COVID-19 vaccine distribution to Indigenous communities.
First Nations members who decide to get the COVID-19 vaccine can book through their community health centre on reserve or through Alberta Health Services (AHS).
Book Online through AHS here: ahs.ca/covidvaccine