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Choctaw Nation Aids With COVID Vaccinations In Southeast Oklahoma

Charles Clark / Provided by Choctaw Nation
Registered nurse Keri Wayman with the Pushmataha County office of the Oklahoma State Health Department, works one of the six vaccination booths inside the Choctaw Event Center in Durant, Okla. on Jan. 6.

The Choctaw Nation is partnering with the Oklahoma State Health Department to administer the COVID-19 vaccine.

During the month of January, the Choctaw Event Center in Durant will be open every Wednesday so that healthcare workers, those aged 65 years or older and first responders can get their initial dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine. Vaccinations are open to everyone, not just Choctaw Nation citizens.

The Choctaw Nation donated the space to the Oklahoma State Department of Health to speed up the vaccination process.

"We are not in this to make money by any stretch of the imagination. We are definitely wanting to do this to protect the citizens of Bryan County of the Choctaw Nation and of Oklahoma," said Jeff Hansen, who works in the public safety division for the Choctaw Nation.

Those wanting to get vaccinated are encouraged to sign up through the state's website, but Hansen explained no one will be turned away just because they didn't register in advance.

The site opened on Jan. 6 and 814 people received their first dose on that day.


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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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