Councillor Mervin Garrick with Cross Lake First Nation receives a COVID-19 vaccine Thursday evening (Facebook photo: David Monias).

Hours after the first COVID-19 vaccines earmarked for First Nations communities arrived in Manitoba, the first doses have been administered.

In a Facebook post made Thursday evening, David Monias, Chief of Cross Lake First Nation announced they had immunized their first person with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine.

The first dose was given to Coun. Mervin Garrick at 7:07 p.m. at the community’s nursing station.

(Video submitted by Chief David Monias)

On Thursday, the province announced 5,300 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine were being shipped to all Manitoba First Nations. The Moderna vaccine was chosen due to the less robust storage requirements required compared to the Pfizer vaccine.

(COVID-19 vaccines arrive at Cross Lake First Nation on Thursday Facebook photo: David Monias)

Cross Lake, Norway House, Fisher River Cree Nation, and Peguis First Nation were among the first communities to receive vaccines. Plans are also being made to send vaccines to personal care homes in Nisichawayasihk, Opaskwayak, Sagkeeng, Sioux Valley, and Bunibonibee.

The priority groups for vaccines in First Nations communities include:

  • Essential health-care workers providing services in remote and isolated communities who cannot access the provincial vaccination super sites;
  • Residents and staff of personal care homes and elder care facilities;
  • People over the age of 60 living in remote and isolated communities; and
  • People over the age of 70 living in non-remote communities

Another 5,300 doses of the vaccine have been committed for the week of Feb. 23. Planning is now underway to immediately deliver vaccines to all 63 First Nations in the province.

(COVID-19 vaccines arrive at Cross Lake First Nation on Thursday Facebook photo: David Monias)

- With files from CTV’s Michelle Gerwing and Danton Unger.