EDMONTON -- A temporary Métis-led vaccination clinic in Edmonton helped continue to immunize Albertans against COVID-19.

The Métis Nation of Alberta organized and hosted a COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Center from Friday to Sunday.

This marked the second Métis-led vaccination clinic in Edmonton. Several other clinics have been hosted this year across the province by the Métis Nation of Alberta.

Reagan Bartel, director of health for the Métis Nation of Alberta, told CTV News Edmonton that the Métis Nation of Alberta hosted the vaccine clinic as part of an immunization blitz.

“The Métis Nation (of Alberta) has an immunization prevalence of about 63 per cent, so we are a little bit behind the provincial average,” Bartel said. “We really want to create a barrier-free place where folks can feel comfortable to come and receive their vaccine.

“That’s why we are doing this push,” she said. “We’re doing second doses, first doses. Essentially, anybody who is ready to roll up their arms, we are here to provide that service to them today.”

For Bartel, the Métis-led clinic helps to ensure nobody is left behind when it comes to immunity against COVID-19.

The clinic was fully booked on Sunday with 450 appointments. On Friday and Saturday, the clinic had more than 800 appointments.

“We’ve made a big impact, almost 1,500 doses over the three days that we’ve run the clinic,” Bartel said.

Bartel said the clinic helped to create a safe space for Métis Nation members to come together and feel supported as they got their vaccine while also combating vaccine hesitancy. In addition to enjoying cultural music, participants were also treated to a piece of bannock following their shot.

“The mood and feel of the clinic is different,” Bartel said. 

“It’s a way to support community,” she added. “For years, Métis folks have been saying we want supports and services from our community.”