By: Lani Hansen, Senior Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — The Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health (MCNDH) announced that it has received the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine and on Dec. 16 the vaccinations began for health care workers.
According to MCNDH Chief Performance Officer Shoneen Alexander-Ross, MCN Health Facilities received 465 doses of vaccination. Those vaccinations were distributed to Eufaula, Sapulpa, Okmulgee and Okemah clinics.
MCNDH will follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Indian Health Service’s recommended vaccination distribution schedule. Health care workers will be the first to receive the vaccination, followed by first responders, MCN Elders 65 and older and other high-risk populations. As more doses become available, MCNDH will offer the vaccine to tribal citizens and the general public.
“We are so excited to receive our first shipment of the COVID-19 vaccine,” said Principal Chief David Hill. “Our Department of Health has been a shining example during this pandemic with proactive measures and effective mitigation strategies. I am pleased we are able to begin distributing this life-saving vaccine and getting on the path to healing for our Nation.”
Because there will not be enough vaccine available to reduce virus transmission until the Spring, the MCNDH encourages Oklahomans to help slow the spread of COVID-19 by continuing to wear a mask, wash your hands and watch your distance.
“We are pleased to offer the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers who are protecting Oklahomans against this pandemic,” said Shawn Terry, Secretary of Health for the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Department of Health. “We will distribute widely as more doses become available, with the understanding that our plans must remain flexible to adapt to the changing dynamics and unknown factors.”
Alexander-Ross added, “This vaccination has gone through a clinical trial, and our medical staff looked at that information before distribution.”
For more information about MCNDH’s COVID-19 response, please visit www.creekhealth.org/covid/