Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Indian Country as cases continue to rise


December 15, 2020

U.S. Public Health Service Lt. Cmdr. Erica Harker, left, an Indian Health Service Navajo Area pharmacy consultant and a member of the Zuni Tribe, and Gallup Indian Medical Center Chief of Pharmacy Vicky Chavez prepare COVID-19 vaccines to be redistributed from GIMC to other health care facilities on the Navajo Nation, December 14, 2020. Photo: IHS

Facilities across Indian Country have begun distributing a newly approved COVID-19 vaccine but the vast majority of tribal citizens will have to wait before they can be protected from a disease that continues to ravage their communities.

From Ojibwe territory in northern Minnesota to the largest reservation in the United States, the shipments of the coronavirus vaccine began arriving at Indian Health Service facilities on Monday. The doses are part of a first wave of distributions the agency will be receiving this month.

"The IHS has been a consistent voice and advocate for vaccine allocation across the Indian health system and tribal communities," Rear Admiral Francis Frazier, a citizen of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, said during a media call on Friday.


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