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IMPORTANT Information Regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics 4/13/21

IMPORTANT Information Regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics

All AFN Members registered for the 55+ clinic, clinic dates are as follows:

  • Gold River April 27, 2021
  • Yarmouth April 28, 2021

You will be contacted this week with a formal booking time. 

Please call Marla 902-774-3736 if you would like to be added to the aged 55+ list

Marla Robinson-Pyne
Health Director, Acadia First Nation
Yarmouth NS B5A4A8
Phone: 902-742-4337
Cell: (902)774-3736

IMPORTANT information regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics

IMPORTANT Information Regarding Covid-19 Vaccination Clinics

All Acadia First Nation Band Members ages 55+

Please call Marla at (902)774-3736 by April 7th at 5pm if you are interested in getting a vaccine.

Please note the only areas we will be administering the vaccine are from the controlled medical centre settings in Yarmouth and Gold River due to strict health measures and protocols in vaccine cold chain accountability. In the meantime, if you are able to receive your vaccine from the province, please do so. It is important to take the first vaccine you can access, if you are wishing to receive it. The exact dates have not been set and are dependent on deliveries.

Clinic dates will be posted by age, as they become confirmed.Any questions regarding the vaccine roll out, please feel free to reach out at any time.

Marla Robinson-Pyne
Health Director, Acadia First Nation
Yarmouth NS B5A4A8
Phone: 902-742-4337
Cell: (902)774-3736

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COVID-19 Vaccination Information

January 20, 2021

Happy New Year,

Let’s talk about the COVID-19 vaccine.  I know there are many questions such as, how do I know it’s safe, or, how soon can I get it, so I’ve created a quick fact sheet. As always, if you have any questions, reach out to me and if I don’t have the answer, I will help you find it. I encourage you to read and familiarize yourself with relevant information but please remember to use reliable resources such as Health Canada, Public Health Agency of Canada, Nova Scotia Health Authority (NSHA), NS Government, CDC, WHO, NACI, and Immunize Canada.

As we are all aware, misinformation can spread quickly via social media.  This is especially true with COVID-19 since the information changes rapidly as we learn more about the virus each day.  When you read new information, take note of the following:

- Where is the information coming from? Is it a verified source? Conduct a Google Search to check validity. Has the information been altered just to make a better headline?
- Who is sharing it? Is the original poster someone with education/credentials in the field they are speaking about?
- When was it published? Is it the most up-to-date information?

These times we’re in can be times of hope, fear, and an overwhelming amount of information. If you need help to process or understand any of the information, have your own questions, or need support, please reach out! You can also find more on the Facebook group: AFN Community Health or the website www.acadiafirstnation.ca

Sincerely,

Chelsea Sawyer
Community Health Nurse
Acadia First Nation
902-627-1245

Resource list

Really great video from an Indigenous Physician from Manitoba discussing the Moderna vaccine:
https://www.cbc.ca/news/indigenous/manitoba-vaccine-first-nations-1.5866988

Nova Scotia Vaccine Info:
https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/vaccine/

Health Canada (main page for vaccine updates):
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines.html

About Pfizer:
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines/Pfizer-biontech.html

About Moderna:
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines/moderna.html

mRNA Vaccines:
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines/type-mrna.html

Viral Vector-Based Vaccines:
https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines/type-viral-vector.html

Vaccine Safety:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/vaccination-children/safety-concerns-side-effects.html

How Vaccines are Developed:
https://youtu.be/Y51ZgZCS8J0

Vaccine Safety:
https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/video/covid-19-how-vaccines-developed.html

Nova Scotia Vaccine Information:
http://www.nshealth.ca/coronavirusvaccine

COVID-19 VACCINE FACT SHEET

What is the COVID-19 vaccine?

There are currently two vaccines (Pfizer and Moderna) approved for use against COVID-19 in Canada.  Both vaccines are mRNA vaccines which means they do not contain a live piece of the virus.  Instead, they act as a manual to instruct your body how to create the “spike protein” that is on the surface of the coronavirus. This triggers your body into making antibodies against it, so that if you were to have contact with the coronavirus, you will be able to fight it off. You cannot get COVID-19 from these vaccines.

Moderna overview: This vaccine has been approved for people aged 18 years and older - safety and effectiveness have not yet been established in persons younger than this.  Moderna vaccine was approved on December 23rd, 2020 and is an mRNA vaccine used to prevent COVID-19.  It is given by injection into the muscle in the upper arm, in two doses, at least 28 days apart.  In clinical studies based on 30,000 participants, it was shown to be 94.1% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning two weeks after the second dose.  As with all vaccines, certain side effects (that pose no health risk) are common, such as pain at the injection site, body chills, fever, and fatigue.  As always, there is a risk of severe reaction, such as allergic, but it is very rare.  All adverse events must be documented and reported.  The trials continue as they include a larger demographic and the company plans to follow participants for a minimum of 2 years after their second dose.

Pfizer overview: This vaccine has been approved for people aged 16 years and older - safety and effectiveness have not yet been established in persons younger than this.  Pfizer vaccine was approved on December 9th, 2020 and is an mRNA vaccine used to prevent COVID-19.  It is given by injection into the muscle in the upper arm, in two doses, at least 21 days apart.  In clinical studies based on 44,000 participants, it was shown to be 95% effective in preventing COVID-19 beginning one week after the second dose.  As with all vaccines, certain side effects (that pose no health risk) are common, such as pain at the injection site, body chills, fever, and fatigue.  As always, there is a risk of severe reaction, such as allergic, but it is very rare.  All adverse events must be documented and reported.  The trials continue as they include a larger demographic and the company plans to follow participants for a minimum of 2 years after their second dose.

Who should get the vaccine?

Everyone is at risk of getting COVID-19, and complications can vary greatly both in severity and duration.  If you are 16 years or older, you will be eligible for a vaccine, which is available at no cost in Canada.  Those who are more likely to come in contact with the virus (front line workers) or those who are at higher risk of complications (long-term care, over the age of 60, underlying health conditions) are especially encouraged to get the vaccine as soon as it is available to them.

Each vaccine has a list of exclusions or contraindications, such as autoimmune disease or anaphylactic allergy, which may deem you ineligible at this time.  Prior to being vaccinated everyone will be screened.  These contraindications/exclusions aren’t necessarily because it is dangerous, but because of lack of data at this time.  This means that as more data is collected and reviewed, more people may become eligible.  For example, the SOGC (Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada) has issued a statement that all pregnant and breastfeeding persons should be offered the vaccine if no other contraindications are present.  This statement can be found on their website: (https://www.sogc.org/en/content/featured-news/SOGC_Statement_on_COVID-19_Vaccination_in_Pregnancy.aspx).

When can I get the vaccine?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a specific time frame on when our communities will be receiving vaccines.  The province has posted their vaccination rollout plan on their website at (http://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/symptoms-and-testing/#vaccine).  This plan was guided by the National Advisory Committee on Immunizations (NACI) based on assessment of risk and vulnerability.  If you fall into one of the risk categories, you may be contacted to schedule your vaccination. Please note that this plan may change as more supply becomes available, or new groups become priority, so stay tuned!

How does the vaccine work?

There are two types of vaccines being developed: mRNA vaccines and viral vector-based vaccines.  There are many other companies with vaccines in development and some are awaiting review and approval by Health Canada.  The two vaccines currently approved for use in Canada are both mRNA vaccines which means they do not contain a live piece of the virus.  Essentially, the vaccines act as an instruction manual to teach our cells how to make copies of the coronavirus spike protein, to trigger an immune response, and begin to create antibodies.  Then, if you are introduced to the real virus, your body is prepared to fight it.  The vaccines do not cause or create the virus.  You can find more information here: (https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/covid19-industry/drugs-vaccines-treatments/vaccines.html).

How did these vaccines get approved so quickly? How do I know they are safe?

The research began in March 2020, and due to the overwhelming state of the pandemic, a lot of people were invested in making this happen.  That means there were more funds available, more people were working together (sharing knowledge, etc.), and companies were able to have more people in their studies.  The vaccines were still rigorously tested and had to meet all of the usual safety processes and standards, including three phases of clinical trials.  There were 10,000s of study participants in various clinical trials, which means the safety data is there. Health Canada reviews the vaccines before approving for use to ensure that it’s safe, that it works, that the manufacturing process is consistent and high quality, and that the benefits of having the vaccine outweigh the risks of not having it.  There is strong evidence that the vaccine is safe and it works for people aged 16 and over, including seniors, and is highly effective across age, sex, race, and ethnicity.

If you’d like more information about this process, I’d be happy to explain further over phone or by email. You can also speak to your local pharmacist or family care provider.

You can watch a video on vaccine safety here: (https://youtu.be/Y51ZgZCS8J0).

You can also find more information on the Government of Canada website here: (https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/vaccination-children/safety-concerns-side-effects.html).

Once I have the vaccine, that’s it? I’m good?

The short answer is, not quite.  We are still waiting to see how long immunity lasts.  As mentioned before, clinical trials will continue, and data will be collected from the many other countries administering these vaccines as well.  Some vaccines protect you for life, and some require annual or even 10 year boosters (ie: tetanus, are you up to date?).  As time goes on, we will know more about the length of protection.  The other factor still being reviewed is: can you be asymptomatic and continue to pass the virus on to others?  We know the vaccine helps prevent the disease and severity of symptoms of the virus, but we don’t know the answer to that question yet.  This means we have to continue to follow Public Health guidelines, regardless of immunization status, until we have more information and build herd immunity to the virus.