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Muscogee Nation Health Department to partner with 3 districts to offer students shots
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Muscogee Nation Health Department to partner with 3 districts to offer students shots

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The Muscogee Nation is teaming up with area school districts to offer COVID-19 vaccination clinics.

The Muscogee Nation Department of Health is partnering with three more Tulsa-area school districts to offer COVID-19 vaccination events.

The Bristow, Glenpool and Sand Springs districts will be hosting drive-through vaccination clinics this month open to both Indigenous and non-Indigenous people age 12 and older.

The Pfizer vaccine will be available at all three events. A signed consent form is required for students younger than 18.

Vaccinations will be available in Glenpool from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday in the parking lot of Glenpool Public Schools’ Education Service Center at 141st Street and U.S. 75. The second dose will be available at the same site from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. June 30. Open to everyone in the community, the event is also co-hosted by the city of Glenpool and the Chamber of Commerce.

The Bristow vaccination event is scheduled from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday at the Freeland Center parking lot, with the second dose available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 1.

The Sand Springs clinic is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 22 at Charles Page High School, with a second dose to be offered on July 13. The event is open to students as well as parents or guardians, family members and school district personnel.

Participants are asked to preregister by June 18 through the tribe’s vaccination portal.

The tribe hosted a similar event Friday with Broken Arrow Public Schools. Almost 200 doses were administered at the drive-through event at Broken Arrow High School.

Sam Hubler is the chief pharmacist at the Muscogee Nation Health Department’s Okmulgee clinic and one of the people involved in setting up vaccine clinic partnerships. With the U.S. Food and Drug Administration expanding vaccine authorization to include adolescents, he said it was a “no-brainer” to work with local school systems to facilitate access.

“What we’ve found through our epidemiologists is that children, although they’re not getting terribly sick with the virus, every time there’s a spike in cases in the community, that same population’s incidence rates increase too,” he said.

“They are very much carriers of the virus, so now that the vaccine is available for 12-15 year olds, it is a great opportunity to increase the amount of vaccines out in the community through the school systems.”

That sentiment was echoed by the assistant superintendent at Bristow Public Schools, Krista Burden. She said her district often partners with the tribe on other endeavors and that with classes out for summer vacation, the space at the Freeland Center was readily available.

“School’s not in session right now, so it was an easy decision for us to offer this for people who might want to access the vaccine,” she said.

Mayor GT Bynum said March 24 that area tribes have been instrumental in getting the region vaccinated.

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I am a third-generation graduate of Oklahoma State University and a board member for both Oklahoma SPJ and the Native American Journalists Association. When not chasing stories, I'm usually chasing my children or our pets.

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