COVID-19 in Indigenous communities: Over 20,000 vaccine doses administered this week

Vaccine distribution continues to ramp up in First Nations and Inuit communities across Canada this week.

According to Indigenous Services Canada, vaccination campaigns are underway in 480 First Nations and Inuit communities. A total of 113,179 doses have been administered thus far, as the number of active cases of COVID-19 in Indigenous communities continues to decrease across the country.

According to the latest data from the federal department, the rate of reported cases of COVID-19 in First Nations living on-reserve is currently 74 per cent higher than the rate in the general Canadian population.

There were 1,425 active cases in First Nations communities as of March 1. As of Feb. 24, there were eight active cases of COVID-19 in the Nunavik region of Quebec and as of March 2 there were nine active cases in Arviat, Nunavut.

New infections persist primarily in the Prairies and Ontario, with the most occurring in Alberta with 349 new cases on-reserve reported in the last week.

Since the pandemic began, there have been a total of 21,253 cases on-reserve. A total of 230 people have died from the virus, with 12 deaths occurring last week. The total number of hospitalizations rose to 974. The number of First Nations people who have recovered from the disease is now at 19,598.

Total cases in First Nations communities per region reported as of March 1:

  • British Columbia: 2,319
  • Alberta: 6,297
  • Saskatchewan: 5,683
  • Manitoba: 5,373
  • Ontario: 1,007
  • Quebec: 564
  • Atlantic: 10

What are the symptoms of COVID-19? 

  • New or worsening cough.
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing.
  • Temperature equal to or over 38 C.
  • Feeling feverish.
  • Chills.
  • Fatigue or weakness.
  • Muscle or body aches.
  • New loss of smell or taste.
  • Headache.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms (abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting).
  • Feeling very unwell.

If you think you may have COVID-19, please consult your local health department to book an appointment at a screening clinic. 


CBC Indigenous is looking to hear from First Nations, Métis, and Inuit who have contracted or lost a loved one to COVID-19. If you would like to share your story, please email us at [email protected].

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