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First COVID-19 Vaccine in James and Hudson Bay Region

On January 8, 2021, the first elder to receive the COVID-19 Moderna Vaccine is Gertrude Johnstone- mother, grandmother, great-grandmother & active member of the Moose Cree FN. She has retired from Moose Factory General Hospital/WAHA as a healthcare provider. As a consummate advocate, she sought to ensure that our elders of the community were taken care of first, and that they would have the opportunity to receive the vaccine as soon as it became available. She is a brave woman in this historic moment.

The moment in time we have all been awaiting, this morning, elder Gertrude Johnstone, a Moose Cree First Nation band member, was the first to receive the Health Canada approved COVID-19 Moderna vaccine at the Weeneebayko General Hospital in Moose Factory, Ontario.

On January 6th, the first COVID-19 vaccines were delivered by ORNGE to Moosonee to assist WAHA with its anticipated regional vaccination roll-out.

Following the guidance from the Ministry to distribute the vaccine in phases, the first phase groups prioritized to receive the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine are:

  • Elders residing in our congregate settings of Moose Factory, Attawapiskat, and Fort Albany.
  • Elders in Complex Continuing Care & Alternate Level of Care (CCC/ALC) beds.
  • Health Care providers who provide care in patient care areas.

In the weeks ahead, all our health care providers who assists patients will have the opportunity to voluntarily get vaccinated.

The phase two process will focus on providing the vaccine to the rest of the community members.  A team will be assembled by the province, utilizing ORNGE paramedics to visit each community.  WAHA/local public health care providers will deliver the program after the team visit.

To learn more about the province of Ontario’s immunization program and the phased roll-out, as well as the vaccinations approved for use in Ontario (Moderna and Pfizer BioNTech), visit https://covid-19.ontario/covid-19-vaccines-ontario.

Should you have vaccination questions, please contact WAHA at 705-658-4544, by email at  or check our website for continued updates.