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Cherokee Nation Readies Distribution Of First Coronavirus Vaccine Doses

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Cherokee Nation will be receiving nearly 1,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine from the Indian Health Service beginning this coming week.

The Nation has the cold storage at the ready for the first doses of the Pfizer vaccine and hopes to start administering it to citizens the day after they receive it

The first 975 doses will go out to frontline health care workers, emergency responders, Cherokee language speakers and elders over the age of 65.

"It's our plan that as we share some of these stories and as time passes, people see that there's no impact and for our citizens and our employees as ambassadors have opportunities to say, 'Hey, I took it and I'm fine,'" said Todd Enlow, the Chief of Staff for the Cherokee Nation.

The second group of citizens to get the vaccine, which includes teachers and childcare staff, can expect to get it at the beginning of 2021 while the general population won't have access until spring.

The Cherokee Nation has had nearly 7,000 positive cases of COVID-19 and 50 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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Allison Herrera is a radio and print journalist who's worked for PRX's The World, Colorado Public Radio as the climate and environment editor and as a freelance reporter for High Country News’ Indigenous Affairs desk.
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