A Cree pilot says he was honoured to be the one who delivered vaccines to some Cree communities in northern Quebec.
Air Creebec pilot Willard Petagumskum flew vaccines to the entire coastal Cree communities in Quebec on Jan. 16. It marked the beginning of a regional vaccination marketing campaign throughout Cree territory and an essential step within the Cree struggle in opposition to COVID-19.
“I used to be pleased that we might be transporting the vaccine. As a result of with every little thing now we have been going by way of with this pandemic … that it will assist our folks,” mentioned Petagumskum in Cree.
As of Tuesday, there have been 86 optimistic COVID-19 instances tied to an outbreak initially of the brand new 12 months within the area.
Two Cree communities — Mistissini and Oujé-Bougoumou — have been hit notably exhausting. There are 52 optimistic instances in Mistissini and 28 in Oujé-Bougoumou, in keeping with the most recent numbers from Cree public well being.
I used to be pleased that we might be transporting the vaccine.– Willard Petagumskum, Air Creebec pilot
For Petagumskum, who’s from Whapmagoostui, the vaccine is a vital technique to shield susceptible folks in Cree communities.
“There’s a vaccine for [COVID-19] to assist many … elders and all our folks,” mentioned Petagumskum.
To date within the vaccination marketing campaign, greater than 8,200 folks have acquired the vaccine that Petagumskum delivered, in keeping with well being officers.
“I am glad to be part of this with the nurses and medical doctors, they do loads to assist our folks. The small a part of me having the ability to assist out with this, that made me pleased.”
The vaccine supply occurred in the course of a snowstorm on Jan. 16, however after 30 years as pilot, Petagumskum took it in stride.
“After I awoke Saturday morning to prepare for work, I seen it was snowing loads. There was a snowstorm in Montreal.”
Petagumskum wanted to have a adverse COVID-19 check earlier than he might make the flight. He mentioned he’ll get the vaccine himself as quickly as he is ready.
‘I would like folks to take care of themselves even after you obtain your shot of this vaccine. You continue to need to watch out,” he mentioned.
WATCH | Resident Fred Tomatuk watches the flight carrying the vaccine land in Eastmain, Que.: