TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation has now entered into phase 2B of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.
Phase 2B priority includes people in congregate settings, all teachers who are Cherokee Nation citizens, all first responders who are Cherokee Nation citizens, and patients with underlying health conditions, and who are eligible to receive care within Cherokee Nation Health Services.
“Cherokee Nation is leading the way in the testing, treatment, and vaccination efforts against the greatest public health crisis in generations,” Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We’ve vaccinated about ten percent of our citizens in our health system and seek every opportunity to protect even more, and the communities in which they live.”
Since receiving the first distribution of vaccines in mid-December, the Cherokee Nation has administered more than 17,000 vaccines.
“In this phase of the vaccination plan, we will be able to offer appointments at all Cherokee Nation health center locations,” said CNHS Executive Director Dr. R. Stephen Jones. “This will allow more access to more citizens closer to home, as we continue to expand our vaccine efforts and keep our communities safe.”
Vaccinations are being administered by appointment only for established Cherokee Nation Health Services patients with a medical chart who fall within Phase 1 and 2 of the tribe’s phased distribution plan.
Individuals that meet phased distribution criteria can schedule an appointment by calling 1-539-234-4099. Qualifying appointments are being scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Walk-ins are not being taken at this time.
“Because of the significantly reduced demand for testing and our increased vaccination operations, we will begin condensing our COVID-19 testing hours to accommodate the shift in staff for these efforts,” said CNHS Deputy Director of Internal Operations Wayne Coldwell. “Our health staff have worked extremely hard over the past year and we are thankful for their dedication to our patients and communities.”
Beginning Monday February 15, drive-thru COVID-19 testing will be available from 8 a.m. – noon, Monday-Friday, excluding holidays at all Cherokee Nation health center locations.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, including answers to frequently asked questions, or to find Cherokee Nation Health Service registration forms and the latest updates to the Cherokee Nation COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, visit health.cherokee.org.