News Release

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

The Saint Regis Mohawk Health Services is urging individuals to get a COVID-19 vaccine in response to the newest variant of concern known as the Delta variant. The Delta variant was first discovered in India and is quickly spreading to other parts of the world — accounting for 10 percent of all new COVID-19 cases reported in the United States.

The headlines of the new Delta variant reaching our borders reminds us this battle is not over and now is not the time to let up on our efforts. The science released by the U.S. Center for Disease Control (CDC) tells us the vaccine is effective against the new variant, with Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Health Director Michael Cook noting, “With the current vaccination rate of 42.5% in Akwesasne’s southern portion, our goal needs to remain at reaching community immunity of 70% or more.”

The Delta strain was previously classified as a variant of interest, but has since been raised to a variant of concern by the CDC on June 14th. Variants are most commonly raised to variants of concern if they show evidence of being more contagious, causing more severe illness, or are more difficult to treat using known therapies.

“We are continuing to ask everyone to protect themselves, their families, and their communities by getting vaccinated,” stated Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Medical Director Dr. Benson Kelly. Dr. Kelly added, “The sooner that people get vaccinated against COVID-19, the less opportunity for the virus to mutate and risk everyone’s health and safety.”

According to the recent data, researchers believe the Delta variant spreads more rapidly and easily than the original strain of COVID-19. There is evidence that suggests antibodies produced by the body in response to a natural infection of COVID-19 may be less effective at defending against the Delta variant. Fortunately, the COVID-19 vaccines available in the U.S, such as Pfizer and Moderna, provide protection against the Delta variant.

As new variants emerge, it is essential to get vaccinated and continue public health practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19, particularly mask wearing and staying home if you are sick. Further mutations can be prevented as more people get vaccinated, so please get vaccinated to help stop the virus from spreading.

Saint Regis Mohawk Health Services is holding an Open Walk-In Vaccine Clinic every Wednesday, from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., at the former-IGA Building located at 850 State Route 37 in Akwesasne. All individuals ages 12 years or older can attend, but minors require a parent to be present. College students are asked to check their school’s vaccination requirement.

Individuals who receive their vaccination will be entered into a drawing to win prizes: including a 70” Flat Screen TV, $250 BJ’s Gift Card, or a 1-Night Stay in Lake Placid with Zipline tickets! Those who receive the COVID-19 vaccine will also get a voucher for a FREE Sub, courtesy of Subway located in the Speedway Plaza in Akwesasne.

The next drawing will take place on Wednesday, June 23rd for the second $250 BJ’s Gift Card and an Overnight Stay and Zipline Package in Lake Placid. The following week on June 30th, a drawing will be held for a 70-inch Samsung television, so please get vaccinated and don’t miss your chance to win prizes!

Community members who received their COVID-19 vaccination away from Akwesasne are asked to call the Tribe’s Outreach Program at (518) 358-3141 to have it documented with Health Services. Documenting vaccinations locally is an important way to help track and build community immunity.

If you have any questions about vaccine clinics being conducted by Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Health Services, please call (518) 333-0230.

The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Saint Regis Mohawk People.

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe - seal - small