This week on the Minnesota Native News health report, at least one tribe is starting to see an increase again in COVID-19 cases, but also an increase in vaccinations. Reporter Dalton Walker explains in this week’s stories.
The delta variant of COVID-19 continues to be a problem and some tribes in Minnesota are starting to see an uptick in related cases.
The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe were some of the first to receive the vaccine and positive cases went down the weeks after. There was even a period this summer where no positive cases were reported.
That lasted a little more than a month, Leech Lake Health Director Vince Rock said.
Now, cases have been slowly increasing in August. This week, 25 active cases were reported by the tribe.
“The good thing is vaccinations are going back up so people want the vaccinations all a sudden again. That interest has been waning for a couple of months there as numbers went down,” said Vince Rock.
Rock said the health department was planning to ask the tribal council to reimplement a face mask mandate in tribal buildings. A few other tribes in Minnesota, including the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe issued similar face mask mandates.
Vince Rock explained “We thought we had it, we thought our vaccines were protecting us and covering us but apparently not. There seems to be that there is some breakthroughs too, there’s a few breakthrough cases of people who have gotten the vaccine before.“
Only one recent positive case has resulted in hospitalization, Rock said, while others, including the few breakthrough cases, haven’t been serious in nature.
In other news…
Yes, it’s true, get ready to roll up your sleeves again because a third COVID-19 vaccine shot is recommended.
This week, we learned that people fully vaccinated can get a booster shot in the coming weeks.
The extra dose, outlined by federal health officials, will be needed to maximize protection and prolong its durability. Doses could begin the week of Sept. 20 and start 8 months after your second dose.
Pfizer and Moderna both required two shots of the vaccine. A booster of the single-dose Johnsons and Johnson is also likely with more data expected in the near future.
It pays to get the shot.
We heard about the recent state incentive for getting vaccinated that included $100 in Minnesota.
A college on the Red Lake Nation is taking it up a step.
Red Lake Nation College is giving $100 to students for each COVID-19 shot received regardless of when they received them. In short, students could get a quick $200 for showing proof of the vaccine.
For the Minnesota Native News health report, I’m Dalton Walker