Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center will receive 300 COVID vaccinations this week. The clinic will begin administering the vaccine to healthcare staff, first responders and Yellowhawk patients over the age of 75 on Saturday and Sunday, December 19 and 20.
“Yellowhawk staff are working hard to protect the CTUIR community and now they are starting to get healthcare employees and elders vaccinated. We greatly appreciate their concerted efforts,” said CTUIR Board of Trustees Chair Kat Brigham. “But let me be clear. Just because the first vaccine shipment is coming in, the war with this invisible enemy is not over. There is no silver bullet. We must continue social distancing so we can knock down the numbers before they get worse.”
The Indian Health Service (IHS) is distributing the vaccine and the shipment will be transported December 17 from Lummi Nation. Yellowhawk staff are calling employees and patients informing those who are eligible to receive the first vaccines. A priority list based on risk level was developed by Yellowhawk and the Incident Command Team.
Yellowhawk is expecting weekly shipments to begin in January 2021. However, the vaccination demand is high and IHS determines when distribution will occur. Yellowhawk asks the public to please be patient with its services as Yellowhawk staff are working hard to make vaccinations available quickly to the community.
This vaccine is provided to patients in two doses. Doses are given 21 days apart. Once someone is given the first dose of vaccination, they will get an appointment for the second dose. Yellowhawk staff will work to guide each patient on dosage protocol.
“We urge everyone who meets the eligibility requirements to come in and get vaccinated. This is such an important tool in fighting the virus and we need all the help we can get to reduce its spread,” said Yellowhawk CEO Lisa Guzman.
Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center is the Public Health Authority for the Umatilla Indian Reservation. The staff is not large enough to handle incoming calls with questions about the vaccine while preparing for the distribution so they have made information available at yellowhawk.org. Community members and employees with questions are encouraged to find answers to their questions on the webpage.