Plans are under way to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to the public at the Dekker Centre for the Performing Arts starting on April 12.
An urban vaccination site is being set up by Battlefords Agency Tribal Chiefs, in partnership with Saskatchewan Health Authority and Indigenous Services Canada.
The idea behind it is to offer additional vaccine support, according to BATC communications spokesperson Alexis Christensen.
“They are offering everybody in Saskatchewan a vaccine by the end of June,” said Christensen. “So they need all partners on deck, so BATC stepped up, and we’re ready to go.”
The approval came through last week, and preparations are now under way. Christensen said that right now they are getting a 1-800 number set up and are getting training from the SHA.
As well, BATC is partnering with 200 First Nations including Saskatoon Tribal Council and the Prince Albert Grand Council, which will have similar sites set up. “It’s a huge partnership and then it branches out into the separate areas,” said Christensen.
The vaccinations at the Dekker Centre will be open to everyone who is eligible in the age category, but it will be set up in consideration of Indigenous culture. There will be elders on site to provide counselling and smudging. Transportation will also be offered to and from the site.
Christensen said that they will be using the Pfizer vaccine and will be picking up the supplies from the Kramer site in Battleford, where SHA has been administering vaccines.
Christensen adds that BATC is also very happy to be able to help out the Dekker Centre, which is being booked for four months to accommodate the vaccinations. The Dekker Centre will still be able to hold entertainment bookings but with performers entering from a separate entrance at the back.