Seattle Indian Health Board
Seattle Indian Health Board (SIHB) today received 500 doses of the FDA-approved Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, which it will begin administering to frontline workers at Seattle Indian Health Board.
Seattle Indian Health Board will also allocate vaccines for members of its Elders Program, as well as frontline workers at Native-led partner organizations, including Chief Seattle Club, United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, Mother Nation, and Urban Native Education Alliance. Residents at Chief Seattle Club’s Eagle Village and those housed in emergency COVID-19 housing will also be able to access the vaccine, as supplies allow.
Seattle Indian Health Board is following guidelines from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that prioritizes healthcare workers and elderly populations.
“Seattle Indian Health Board is excited to begin giving the vaccine to our community,” said Esther Lucero, CEO of Seattle Indian Health Board. “It will be important to get our frontline workers vaccinated first so they can continue to care for our relatives as COVID-19 numbers continue to rise.”
Seattle Indian Health Board has already placed an order to receive more doses, but is unsure when they will arrive.
“We will continue to ask for more vaccines to ensure all eligible relatives have the opportunity to receive it as soon as possible,” Lucero said.
According to a recent report released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Indians and Alaska Natives test positive for COVID-19 at a rate 3.5 times higher than White populations, and die at a rate 1.8 times higher.
“We are grateful to the tribes nationwide who advocated for Native people to be recognized as a priority population. If it weren’t for them, we would still be waiting,” Lucero said.