CAMPBELL RIVER -- Remote Vancouver Island First Nation, Ehattesaht/Chinehkint, successfully administered the second dose of COVID-19 vaccines to its membership, six weeks after they received their first dose.

A team of five Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council (NTC) nurses completed the vaccination process for people who had received the first shot, said the First Nation Chief Simon John in a statement.

“We are really excited to hopefully get this behind us and get on with business, I know our people are tired and I think everyone is,” said John, who added, “I was worried when I saw the snow this weekend, but I don't think that has stopped anyone. We really are done with COVID and want to get on with our lives.”

A vaccination drive also took place at the local Island Health Centre. In January, after vaccinating its own members, Ehattesaht First Nation provided some of their surplus doses to the neighbouring village of Zeballos. Paramedics, health-care workers in the clinic, volunteer firefighters, teachers and staff that work at Ehatis Reserve were given preference to receive the surplus doses.

“We are all living in this small community and we rely on each other, so we wanted to make sure neighbours could benefit from the vaccine,” said John.

Not everyone in Ehattesaht First Nation is vaccinated despite the supply, as many members opted to wait and watch. The First Nation leadership hopes that more doses will become available in the future for members who choose to get vaccinated.

In early March, the NTC nurses will be back in the community to conduct antibody testing.