TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — The Cherokee Nation is making it even easier for the public to access the COVID-19 vaccine at tribal health centers throughout the 14-county reservation by improving the registration process, reducing paperwork requirements and broadening vaccine distribution to all those in and outside the reservation.

Any member of the public, regardless of where they live, is now eligible to schedule a COVID-19 vaccine appointment at any of the tribe’s outpatient health centers.

Those looking to receive the COVID-19 vaccine can now call 1-539-234-4099 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday to schedule an appointment. No registration paperwork is required before calling, and in many instances, same-day appointments may be available. Patients scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine can also now request either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine when registering.

“Our Cherokee Nation health team was extremely successful in ensuring we reached our most vulnerable populations, including Cherokee elders and first responders, when our first COVID-19 vaccines arrived in December,” said Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. “Since then, we have continued to successfully reach Cherokee citizens of all ages through rigorous outreach efforts and rapid expansion of our vaccine availability. That’s why, as a good community partner, the Cherokee Nation is now offering COVID-19 vaccine appointments to anyone, regardless of where they live, including our Cherokee citizens, citizens of other federally recognized tribes, and members of the public. We also remain focused on making the process faster and easier to help create safer communities.”

Since receiving its first distribution of vaccines in mid-December, the Cherokee Nation has administered more than 36,500 doses of vaccines.

“We are making every effort to ensure the vaccination process is quick and easy for all patients,” said Chief of Staff Todd Enlow. “The average wait time to receive a vaccine is typically less than about 10 minutes from the time you walk in the doors of one of our health centers. Of course, out of an abundance of caution, we will ask that you remain on-site in designated areas for monitoring by our health care teams for 15 minutes following your vaccine, or if you have certain underlying health conditions, you may be monitored for up to 30 minutes. With nine vaccine distribution locations throughout Northeast Oklahoma, it has never been easier or quicker to get the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Vaccines are available in all Cherokee Nation Health Service locations in Tahlequah, Ochelata, Sallisaw, Jay, Muskogee, Vinita, Nowata and Salina. The tribe is also offering scheduled appointments at the new Cherokee Nation office located at 402 W. Locust Street in Stilwell while the Wilma P. Mankiller Health Center is undergoing expansion. Vaccinations continue to be administered by appointment only and walk-ins are not available at this time.

Evening appointments are also now being offered at all health centers every Thursday until 7 p.m. in the month of March, and Cherokee Nation Health Services is exploring other community vaccine outreach opportunities. Continue to check the Cherokee Nation’s Facebook page and www.cherokee.org for updates.