Canadian health authorities see role for church in vaccinating Indigenous communities

By Matt Gardner
Posted Mar 8, 2021

[Anglican Journal] In guidance produced during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic in April, the World Health Organization (WHO) was emphatic: “Religious leaders, faith-based organizations, and faith communities can play a major role in saving lives and reducing illness related to COVID-19.”

As Canada begins rolling out vaccines in the midst of a devastating second wave, health authorities are once more echoing the WHO. Faith organizations such as the Anglican Church of Canada, they say, can play a vital role in supporting vaccination.

The church’s potential to bolster the fight against the virus can be felt in Western Canada, which has seen some of the country’s highest infection rates. Indigenous communities have been hit particularly hard; people in First Nations represent up to half of all hospitalizations in Manitoba, according to Tom Wong, chief medical officer of health for Indigenous Services Canada.

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