Alberta hospitals squeezed under pressure of COVID-19 3rd wave

Blackfeet Nation tribe shares covid vaccines across the border with Canada

Montana tribe handed out hundreds of surplus vaccines at border crossing

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
@graemekmassie
Tuesday 04 May 2021 20:53
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The Blackfeet Nation in Montana set up a Covid-19 vaccination clinic on the Canadian border to share their surplus doses with their neighbors to the north.

The tribal nation had extra vaccines after inoculating the majority of its members so set up a mobile clinic at the Carway border crossing into Alberta, Canada.

Lines of cars stretched almost two miles to receive one of the 750 shots available.

“I am actually brought to tears today hearing that the efforts to assist our relatives and folks across the medicine line with vaccines has been awesome,” said public information officer with the Blackfeet Tribe Piita’hkotokii James McNeely.

“Many of the folks cried today when they were able to get vaccinated.”

And he added: “Indian people are generous, and we’ve been vaccinating many people from all walks of life.”

Cars were immediately turned around to head back into Canada after the vaccine was administered and anyone taking part was exempt from the country’s 14-day quarantine period.

“This is one of the greatest days of my life because I think if everybody would be like this, if everybody would be this generous, we wouldn’t have much trouble in the world,” said Marijke Woelfel, who drove six hours to get her second shot.

Health officials in Alberta had administered 1.6m doses by 1 May and Canada had administered more than 12.5m first doses, but just 1.13m have been fully vaccinated.

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