A northern leader in the Far North East zone of the province is questioning why her region is not included in the first allotment of Moderna COVID-19 vaccines.

4900 doses of the vaccine are headed to select Far North West and Far North Central communities today.

Last week, Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Saqib Shahab said those regions were chosen because of the high positivity rates.

“We’re very concerned that the Far North East is not part of the first allotment of the 4900 doses of the Moderna vaccine that arrived in the province and it’s scheduled to come into the North here this week,” said Lac La Ronge Indian Band Chief Tammy Cook-Searson.

Upon learning of the exclusion, Cook-Searson had a meeting with the local medical health officer to obtain more information about the vaccination rollout.

She asserts that there is little consultation on vaccines in the Far North.

“When we learned too that the medical health officers were not part of the decision making of how the vaccines would roll out to the to the Northern Administrative District,” said Cook-Searson. “We were very concerned to learn that that the local MHO’s were not involved in the decision making the vaccine allocation for the North.”

Cook-Searson with the support of local mayors sent a letter to the province on the weekend, requesting more information such as data on why the Far North West and Far North Central regions were chosen, what communities are getting the doses and how many.

She asks that when future doses become available, that northern leaders are consulted on the allotment.

“There’s no reason why the Far North East can’t be part of the first allotment of the 4900 Moderna vaccines. We meet the criteria of we have long term care residents and staff in the Far North East. We have personal care home residents and staff, we have priority health care workers, including those assigned to COVID-19 wards, testing and COVID assessments,” said Cook-Searson.

“The Far North East and the 4900 Moderna vaccines that are rolling out this week, starting today should come to the Far North East also.”

Cook-Searson said she has not received a response to her letter from provincial officials.

“We can confirm that we have received the letter and will respond directly to the authors shortly. We plan to hold discussions with community leaders and planning leads from the Far Northeast this week on the second round of Moderna vaccines,” stated a spokesperson from the Ministry of Health.

Sunday’s provincial active COVID-19 cases show that the Far North West has 144 cases, the Far North Central 21 and the Far North East 309.