KAHNAWAKE -- Vaccinations for the general public in Kahnawake will begin on March 11 for people aged 85 and over, according to public health officials.

"There's a light at the end of the tunnel," said public safety commissioner Lloyd Phillips in the Thursday announcement. "I think today that light has gotten much brighter."

Vaccinations will take place at the Mohawk Bingo on Highway 132, west of the 207.

“Once we complete 85 and older, we will move on to the rest of the community,” said Kateri Memorial Hospital Centre director Lisa Westaway, who said more details on next steps would become available “very, very shortly.”

Anyone aged 70 and over accompanying a person at least 85 years old can also receive a dose.

“We also will be able to make special arrangements for anybody who is not able to make it to the bingo hall on their own,” said Westaway.

The Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk) community of Kahnawake is located on the south shore of the St. Lawrence river, across from Montreal. Despite its proximity to the city, the spread of the virus in the community has not been nearly as intense.

Since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, local health officials have recorded 109 coronavirus cases. On Thursday, there was just one active case in the community.

Health officials will be administering the Pfizer brand vaccines on March 11, 12, and 13. Westaway says public health will probably be using the Moderna vaccine for the rest of the campaign, adding that information will be available soon.


Westaway says just when people will receive their second dose is still unknown.

“Quebec has confirmed that they will be providing second doses,” she said.

“However, there are still studies being conducted looking at the length of time between first and second dose that is acceptable.”