ONEIDA, Wis. (WFRV) – At the start of the state of emergency connected to the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, Tribal Communities have been navigating through the challenges. “It’s been going fairly well. Early on we had our vaccination clinics and mass vaccination clinics which are well-practiced,” said Tehassi Hill, Oneida Nation Chairman. Hill says the fact they distribute the flu vaccine every year, helped lay the foundation for the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine. “We run regular seasonal flu clinics through the same process just in larger numbers,” said Hill.
Oneida Nation Elementary School was the site of their mass vaccination clinic. It has since closed, but at the start of the vaccination distribution, they saw high numbers of people wanting the vaccine. “We have had 36% of our community get vaccinated since the options were approved,” said Hill. The high numbers were possibly due to the anticipation of a lack of supply or delay because it was not supposed to roll out until the spring.
The Nation has seen over seven hundred positive COVID-19 cases our of eight thousand residents. Those statistics helped local business owner Chris Jordan make the decision to get the shot. “I got mine at the Health Center and my second one is in early May,” said Jordan.
“It really is a personal decision, but I urge everybody to weigh that decision carefully and I really do believe that this vaccine can help get us through this pandemic,” said Hill. The Oneida Nation has information on the COVID-19 pandemic here.