Cherokee Nation enters Phase 2A of COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The Cherokee Nation is in phase 2A of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan. It includes teachers, child care and Head Start staff, infrastructure support and Food Distribution program staff as well as tribal citizens 55 and older. COURTESY

TAHLEQUAH -- According to tribal officials, the Cherokee Nation is scheduling COVID-19 vaccinations for CN teachers and child care workers, Food Distribution program employees and other critical infrastructure staff, as well as tribal citizens 55 and older.

The CN is in phase 2A of its COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, officials said.

It includes the tribe's critical workers such as teachers, child care and Head Start staff, infrastructure support and Food Distribution program staff.�

?"This is an exciting step for our health system as we are now able to provide more tribal citizens, from Cherokee Nation teachers to citizens 55 and older with this added protection," Health Services Executive Director Dr. R. Stephen Jones, said. "As we receive more vaccines, we will continue vaccinating more groups in the coming months according to the phases in the Cherokee Nation's distribution plan."

Since receiving the first distribution of vaccines on Dec. 14, the CN has administered more than 6,500 vaccines, including about 900 Cherokee speakers.

Vaccinations are being administered by appointment only for established CN Health Services patients within Phase 1 and now phase 2A of the tribe's distribution plan.

Those Cherokee elders 65 and older who have yet to be vaccinated should also call for an appointment.

"Every citizen we vaccinate, is one less patient at risk of testing positive, having to be hospitalized or lost due to COVID-19," said Health Services Deputy Executive Director of External Operations Brian Hail. "Our health system has experienced an overwhelming number of hospitalizations with COVID-19 and by getting vaccinated we can protect our friends, family and communities."

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 through Friday, excluding holidays. Walk-ins are not being taken at this time.

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.