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News Release

Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe

280 days since the State of Emergency was declared for the Akwesasne community, the first 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine arrived December 21 at Saint Regis Mohawk Health Services. More will arrive in the coming months, but the first shipment of the vaccine provides a vital tool in combating the coronavirus, as it is 94.1% effective at preventing COVID-19 symptoms from developing.

“My appreciation goes out to the Indian Health Service in facilitating the distribution of this historic vaccine. I wish we could start tomorrow but we’ve got some plans to put into place first,” stated Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Pharmacy Health Services Director Michael Cook.

In accordance with U.S. Center for Disease Control’s recommended guidelines, the initial shipment of the vaccine will be voluntarily administered to frontline healthcare workers, tribal police officers, and other frontline personnel as soon as early-January. It will require a second dose to be administered 28-days afterwards.

“We are fortunate to be getting these vaccines, literally hot of the presses. I thank Moderna and Indian Health Service for working together. I would encourage everyone to consider getting the vaccine,” urged Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Pharmacy Clinical Director Dr. Benson Kelly.

More shipments of Moderna are expected in the coming months, with public vaccinations to start in April or May. Until then, Health Services encourages its clients to begin educating themselves on the vaccine by visiting the U.S. Center for Disease Control’s website at

In closing, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe Pharmacy Supervisor Joan Westcott added, “This is our chance to win the fight against COVID-19.”

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