TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – In continued efforts to keep Cherokee families and students safe, the Cherokee Nation held a COVID-19 and flu vaccination clinic at Sequoyah High School on Friday, December 3. 

The vaccination clinic was open to all Cherokee Immersion School students, Sequoyah High School students and Cherokee Nation government employees.

The clinic offered flu and COVID-19 vaccinations, as well as the Pfizer Pediatric COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-11. More than 60 students, adults and children were vaccinated for either COVID-19 or the flu during the clinic. 

“Our Sequoyah High School, Cherokee Immersion School and tribal government offices continue to be the safest schools and work sites in our region while we continue to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We will continue to offer these COVID and flu vaccination clinics for our tribal citizens from time to time to continue to make impactful changes that will save lives.”

JP Johnson, 45, from Tahlequah, took both of his children, Leo Johnson, 11, and Henry Johnson, 8, to get the pediatric vaccine. Leo and Henry are both students at the Cherokee Immersion School.

“My son specifically is a high risk to COVID,” Johnson said. “He had to have a major surgery and have a lower left lobe of his lung removed when he was 2 years old. So, he has asthma and breathing issues already. We’ve been waiting for this for quite some time and excited to get it done finally, to have a little peace of mind, because it’s really scary. When COVID first went down, we locked down and they saw no one for a long time and it was really hard on our families. So, the vaccine is super important to us.”

The Cherokee Nation started offering the pediatric Pfizer vaccine in November and has since given more than 800 doses. This vaccine requires a series of two doses, with the second dose being administered three weeks after the first.

The Cherokee Nation has administered more than 90,000 COVID-19 vaccines since getting their first distribution last year. More than 81 percent of Cherokee Nation government employees and nearly 70 percent of Sequoyah students have received the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Any member of the public can receive the COVID-19 vaccine from Cherokee Nation Health Services. Walk-in appointments are available, but in order to make an appointment at any Cherokee Nation Health Services health center, call 1-539-234-4099.