After witnessing members of Yunesit’in First Nation support each other during a cluster of COVID-19, Yunesit’in Government health director Jessica Doerner is thankful the Indigenous community west of Williams Lake was able to receive its second round of vaccines.
A vaccination clinic was held at Yunesit’in Health Centre Feb. 17 to Feb. 24 after approximately 120 doses of the Moderna vaccine were delivered.
“We’re always advocating to get more funds to allow for appropriate housing and healthy housing situations because 12, in some cases 15 people, living in a three-bedroom home with one bathroom there is just not any way you can stop the spread,” Doerner said, noting healthcare services are often located some distance away from rural areas.
“It is pretty concerning. So we’re feeling very grateful that we’ve come together and worked really hard to get to this place.”
Earlier this year, those living in Yunesit’in set aside their fears and concerns to help others who were isolating within the community because they had either tested positive for the disease or been in contact with someone who tested positive.
Food was set on doorsteps or porches and positive messages were sent via social media.
Central Cariboo Search and Rescue members also volunteered to shop in Williams Lake for on-reserve Yunesit’in households while a lockdown was in effect.
A total of 26 people have since recovered from COVID-19 after having tested positive.
“The community has worked hard, and the staff and leadership have come together to ensure the best possible outcome with the tools that we have at hand,” Doerner said.
She stressed the importance of continuing to follow provincial safety guidelines to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
It is not known when more vaccines for those wanting to be vaccinated will be made available.
“We’re not at a place of community immunity, so we need to continue to social distance, wear masks and take precautions for sure,” Doerner said.