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COVID-19 vaccination effort now underway for Manitoba Metis Federation

MMF President David Chartrand received his first dose of the AstraZeneca vaccine Saturday. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick. Sean Kilpatrick/The Canadian Press

Citizens of the Manitoba Metis Federation (MMF) are now getting their COVID-19 vaccine shots.

It started on April 6 when an MMF-owned pharmacy received a shipment of 100 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. President David Chartrand told Global News they didn’t know the shipment was coming.

“It surprised us, just came out of nowhere,” he said, “nothing attached to it, no information. Our managers didn’t know what was going on.”

Read more: Manitoba health officer warns new restrictions possible as COVID-19 cases climb

The MMF quickly booked 100 appointments for its citizens and began administering the shots on Saturday, April 17.

Chartrand says they received another 100 vaccine doses from Long Plain First Nation.

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“Chief Dennis Meeches got a hold of me and said, ‘look, we have extra doses of the Moderna vaccine available if you want them.’ I said I’ll take them in a heartbeat.” A few days later, one hundred MMF citizens traveled to Long Plain to receive their first shot.

Click to play video: 'Indigenous communities ‘crushing curve,’ but some COVID-19 outbreaks reminder ‘this is not over’: Miller' Indigenous communities ‘crushing curve,’ but some COVID-19 outbreaks reminder ‘this is not over’: Miller
Indigenous communities ‘crushing curve,’ but some COVID-19 outbreaks reminder ‘this is not over’: Miller – Apr 16, 2021

Chartrand got his first vaccine shot Saturday morning.

He says he specifically chose to take the AstraZeneca vaccine to help assuage any fears his citizens may have about blood clots.

“I know there’s a lot of fear-mongering happening out there, especially in the internet world,” he said. “A lot of people are fearful … you’re hearing about blood clots. I’m trying hard to explain … the chances of getting a clot are lower than winning the lottery a couple of times.”

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Read more: Blood clots from COVID-19 up to 10 times more likely than vaccines: researchers

To put the risk in another perspective, researchers in the United Kingdom said on Thursday there is a much higher risk of brain blood clots from COVID-19 infection than there is from vaccines and stressed that the benefits of vaccination outweigh the risks.

–With a file from Reuters

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