This week on the Minnesota Native News health report, tribal leaders are stressing the importance of the COVID-19 vaccine to help curb the spread in Minnesota’s Indian Country. Reporter Dalton Walker explains with this week’s stories.
The internet is a powerful tool. Tribes use it to communicate directly with citizens in near real time. It’s easy to find a post on Facebook or a YouTube video with relevant and reliable information that may affect you or your tribal community.
Boise Forte Band of Chippewa Chairwoman Cathy Chavers regularly shares updates via YouTube. Other tribal leaders and tribal health officials across the state do the same.
In one of her latest messages, Chavers said the tribe will launch a vaccination message focused on tribal citizens under 30 years of age.
“We are trying to reach out to those age categories who have been already vaccinated to tell their friends to please get the vaccination, please get vaccinated, it’s very important. Sometimes, people don’t like the government telling them what to do, I don’t feel like I should be wearing a mask, I don’t feel like I should be vaccinated. But if you get the virus and you end up real sick, you can also get others very sick and you could possibly pass from this virus,” said Chavers in the video.
The tribe has seen a recent increase in positive cases from unvaccinated eligible people, Chavers said. Chavers asked citizens questioning the vaccine’s safety to contact their health providers.
Remember, be sure to subscribe or follow your tribes’ social media channels for the latest information by simply searching keywords online.
In other news…
Soon, our young people ages 12 to 15 will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to authorize Pfizer’s vaccine for youth as young as 12.
Reports say the FDA may endorse Pfizer’s vaccine for even younger children later this year. Pfizer was the first federally approved vaccine and requires two-doses.
Children rarely get seriously ill from the coronavirus. However, children with no symptoms can still spread it to other people, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Teens as young as 16 were given the green light to get the vaccine not long after the rollout began.
Youth from the Lower SIoux Indian Community shared why they got the vaccine in a short public service announcement. Five high school students were part of the video posted on the tribe’s Facebook page this month.
President Joe Biden has a new vaccination goal for the country.
Biden wants at least one shot to 70 percent of adults by Fourth of July. The goal comes as nearly 105 million U.S. citizens are fully vaccinated, according to the White House.
The Indian health system is doing its part. In Biden’s first 100 days as president, 1.1 million vaccine doses have been administered in Indian Country, according to Indian Health Service.
Dalton Walker reporting for Minnesota Native News