To help ensure First Nation and urban Indigenous communities have the necessary tools to continue protecting our progress in the fight against COVID-19 and the Omicron variant, the Ontario government is investing $30 million in specialized vaccine supports. The funding will support the administration of third and booster doses and the vaccination of Indigenous children aged 5 to 11, in addition to the development of communications programs to address vaccine hesitancy. It will also facilitate ongoing pandemic response measures, such as testing and contact tracing.
“The safety and well-being of Indigenous people and communities across Ontario is of utmost importance,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “By working with First Nation, Inuit, Métis and urban Indigenous partners, we will ensure Indigenous communities and organizations have the necessary tools and supports they need to maintain public health measures and continue making progress in the fight against COVID-19.”
The $30 million funding includes:
- $10 million in formula-based funding for all 133 First Nations to support the rollout of third doses of the vaccine,
- $10 million for key urban Indigenous healthcare partners to support the continued rollout of the vaccine, including third and booster doses and to address vaccine hesitancy particularly in younger age groups,
- $3 million to further support Operation Remote Immunity which delivers vaccines to remote First Nation communities in northern Ontario which can only be reached by air,
- $7 million in application-based funding to support First Nation communities and urban Indigenous organizations.
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