Partnerships Bring Family-Friendly Pop-Up Vaccination Clinic to Calgary

Today’s aisokinakio’p pop-up vaccination clinic at the Genesis Centre in Calgary is off to a great start! Calgarians are welcome to come on down TODAY to the Genesis Centre, located at #10 – 7555 Falconridge Blvd NE to get their COVID vaccines, flu shots, and/or pneumonia vaccines. The clinic will be open today until 7:00pm; a second clinic will be opened at Village Square Leisure Centre next Saturday, open from 10:30am-5:30pm.

The clinic is a partnership between aisokinakio’p (an Indigenous-led COVID-19 immunization clinic created by the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary, Siksika Health Services, and OKAKI Health Intelligence) and the City of Calgary. The clinic offers a safe and welcoming family-friendly environment, with the aim to help improve vaccination rates, especially among children. All are welcome, and translation supports are available. 

Today’s clinic was started in ceremony, with Elders Ernie Poundmaker and Jackie Bromley providing prayers and leading a cleansing ceremony. Adrian Goulet offered a song to close the ceremony and seal the partnerships in a good way.

The pop-up clinic provides both Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines, in addition to influenza and pneumonia vaccinations. Pediatric vaccines for COVID-19 and influenza are also available. Next Saturday’s clinic at Village Square Leisure Centre will offer the same.

The pop-up clinics are offered with support from the Calgary Homeless Foundation and Alberta Health Services, with volunteers from Alberta International Medical Graduates Association (AIMGA) and ActionDignity, and include fun giveaways for the whole family. Our hope is that these clinics will be a way for the community to come together and connect in a mutual goal of strengthening the health of our communities.

Participants are asked to bring their ID, an Alberta Health Card is helpful if people have one, but it is not required.

Quotes from the Partners:

“Over the last year, aisokinakio’p’s Indigenous-led and culturally-sensitive approach has allowed us to vaccinate thousands of Calgarians, including Elders, refugees, and vulnerable community members. We are proud our innovative and welcoming approach can help protect even more Calgarians through these pop-up clinics.” ~ Shane Gauthier, CEO of the Aboriginal Friendship Centre of Calgary

“OKAKI is committed to supporting immunization programs in Alberta. It has been a privilege to collaborate with all our aisokinakio’p partners, including the City of Calgary, to reduce barriers and improve access to vaccination for individuals of all ages through these family friendly pop-up clinics.” ~ Dr. Salim Samanani, Medical Director, OKAKI.

“As a health services authority operating within a First Nations community, we are keenly aware of the significance of immunization, and the important role it can play in saving lives and protecting our most vulnerable populations. Equitable access to quality healthcare needs to be a top priority for all our communities, and the aisokinakio’p initiative, including these pop-up clinics in Mohkinstsis [Calgary], helps to ensure this equitable access for more people.” ~ Dr. Tyler White, Naa Taoyi Piita Wo Taan, CEO, Siksika Health Services 

“So many organizations have come together to lift our community up and help remove barriers to vaccination by providing these easy-to-access pop-up clinics. The clinics will improve the health and well-being of our community. Our community has a big heart. Whenever we have asked for help, so many people have answered the call, and that includes you all here today. We have found new ways to work together. I feel like we are more integrated in our community than we’ve ever been. This puts us all in a better position to improve peoples’ lives and have profound impacts on our community now, and for generations.” ~ Katie Black, General Manager Community Services, City of Calgary