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13,000 get COVID-19 vaccines in Oklahoma through tribal health care services

13,000 get COVID-19 vaccines in Oklahoma through tribal health care services

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Cherokee Nation Vaccines

Tim King, a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and a Cherokee language speaker, receives a COVID-19 vaccine at the Cherokee Nation Outpatient Health Center on Dec. 17 in Tahlequah.

More than 13,000 tribal citizens in Oklahoma have received COVID-19 vaccinations through Cherokee Nation, Osage Nation and Muscogee (Creek) Nation health care services.

The Cherokee Nation is now scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for Cherokee Nation teachers and child care workers, and tribal citizens 55 and older, a progression in the tribe’s vaccine distribution plan. Phase 2A also covers “critical infrastructure staff.”

Osage Nation and Muscogee (Creek) Nation are still in the first tiers for priority groups.

Since receiving its first distribution of vaccines on Dec. 14, the Cherokee Nation has administered more than 6,500 vaccinations, including to about 900 Cherokee language speakers.

Vaccinations are being administered only by appointment for eligible Cherokee Nation Health Services patients. Appointments are being scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays, by calling 539-234-4099. Go to health.cherokee.org for more.

Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s health center will offer vaccines in a drive-through event Saturday, by appointment for native patients 65 or older who receive care through the health center, at Okmulgee Medical Center, 1212 S. Belmont.

Patients are asked to sign up by 5 p.m. Thursday for one of the 300 Pfizer prime doses; call 918-758-3601. About 6,000 Creek Nation citizens have received Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, according to a news release.

More than 500 Osage Nation citizens have received vaccinations through the Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center, 918-287-0028, after seven shipments of Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, said clinic CEO Dr. Ron Shaw. The tribe is currently vaccinating only health care workers, citizens 65 or older and essential tribal employees.

Starting Saturday, the Osage Nation clinic will offer appointments/walk-in for any Native person 55 or older. Members of any Native tribe may submit their contact information at bit.ly/onhsvaccinewaitlist to register.

A drive-through vaccination event is set for 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday in Pawhuska for those with an active chart at the Wah-Zha-Zhe Health Center. Patients can call the hotline for info at 918-287-0076 or email onhs.wzzhc@osagenation-nsn.gov.

Oklahoma health officials have said all Oklahomans are reliant for COVID-19 vaccinations on the supplies coming from the federal government, shipments based on population size. About 5% of Oklahomans, more than 212,720, have received a vaccine, according to state data presented Tuesday.

Tribes receive their own allotments of vaccines and offer separate distribution systems for members. Nearly a quarter-million Oklahomans are Cherokee Nation citizens. The Creek Nation has about 90,000 citizens, and the Osage Nation about 47,000.


Video: Cherokee language speakers receive COVID-19 vaccine

State COVID-19 vaccine portal: What nontribal citizens need to know while signing up in Phase 2

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