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COVID-19: Inside Montreal’s new vaccination clinic for urban Inuit

Click to play video: 'Vaccination clinic for Inuit community opens at Montreal’s Douglas hospital'
Vaccination clinic for Inuit community opens at Montreal’s Douglas hospital
WATCH: Global News was granted exclusive access to a vaccination clinic solely open for members Montreal’s urban Inuit community. As Global's Dan Spector explains, this is one of three clinics aimed at vaccinating the city’s indigenous population – Apr 23, 2021

Global News was granted exclusive access to a new COVID-19 vaccination clinic exclusively for Montreal’s Inuit community on Friday.

Montreal’s urban Inuit over the age of 18 and those who work closely with them are all welcome to make appointments on Mondays and Fridays.

The clinic has taken over a theatre inside the Douglas Hall Pavilion on the grounds of the Douglas Mental Health University Institute.

Vaccinations have been rolling out to Inuit people in northern communities like Nunavik, but up until now there was no clinic just for them in Montreal.

Read more: NACI recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine be offered to Canadians 30+

“The vaccination clinic is for urban Inuit, primarily Inuit from Nunavik and other regions in this country,” explained Maggie Putulik, director of out-region services at the Nunavik Regional Board of Health and Social Services.

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Being a designated priority group, as of this week all Inuit aged 18 and older can make an appointment to be vaccinated at the new clinic.

On the way in there are encouraging messages on the walls from already vaccinated Inuit people.

“When you walk inside of the clinic, all the signs are in the language. There are some pictures. We have some people here who can speak the language, so they can translate,” said Amine Saadi, of the West Island Regional Health Authority (CIUSSS).

People who work closely with the Inuit community can also get their shot at the new clinic.

Read more: Canada set to receive 35M Pfizer COVID-19 booster vaccines for 2022

During Global News’ visit, a team from Air Inuit was passing through. They fly food, medication and other supplies to Nunavik in northern Quebec.

“I feel very fortunate and I’m thankful. My guys are also. We operate the warehouse over here and if they got sick and we would shut down, that would pretty much shut down the supplies for the north,” said Brian Gibson, a manager with Air Inuit after he got vaccinated.

The new clinic at the Douglas is one of three geared toward Montreal’s urban Indigenous population that opened this week.

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Click to play video: 'NACI recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians 30+'
NACI recommends AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine for Canadians 30+

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