Indianz.Com > COVID-19 > Navajo Nation (Arizona, New Mexico, Utah)
Posted: February 8, 2021

Photo: Navajo Nation Office of President and Vice President

The Navajo Nation 

Office of the President and Vice President

February 8, 2021

Navajo Nation has administered 94% of current COVID-19 vaccine doses, additional vaccines and personnel to arrive this week to help administer more

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. – Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were recently informed by Indian Health Service Acting Director Elizabeth Fowler that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocated $210 million to IHS to support COVID-19 vaccine-related activities for tribes and $790 million for COVID-19 testing efforts. The funds were made available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was signed into law on Dec. 27, 2020. 

As a result of the recently allocated funds, Navajo Area IHS is expected to receive an additional 28,925 doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week, which will help to meet the Navajo Nation’s goal of administering 100,000 total doses of the vaccines by the end of February. This will include 26,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine and 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine. 

President Nez was also informed by FEMA officials that 82 additional federal personnel, including clinical and support staff and vaccinators, will arrive to the Navajo Nation this week to help with vaccination efforts at health care facilities in Fort Defiance, Tuba City, Winslow, and in Utah.  

“As of Sunday, the Navajo Area IHS received 78,520 vaccine doses and 74,048 of those doses have gone into the arms of our people on the Navajo Nation – that’s a 94-percent efficiency rate so far. Confidence in the vaccines is very high here on the Navajo Nation and that increases demand across the board. With the advocacy of our administration along with Navajo Department of Health and Navajo Area IHS, we are going to receive additional doses of the vaccines and more personnel to help administer those doses. Over the weekend, I had the opportunity to visit several large-scale drive-thru vaccination events in Pinon, Kayenta, and Tuba City. Our health care workers are doing a great job and I’m confident that they will carry on the effective coordination that we have seen so far,” said President Nez. 

On Feb. 2, Federal Emergency Management Agency Acting Administrator Robert J. Fenton informed President Nez that U.S. President Joe Biden signed a long-awaited Major Disaster Declaration for the Navajo Nation, which will provide more federal resources and prompts the release of federal funds for the reimbursement of emergency funds expended to address the COVID-19 pandemic on the Navajo Nation. The Navajo Nation is currently working with FEMA to coordinate cost sharing and COVID-19 response resources. 

“The assistance that our Nation has received from FEMA since the start of the pandemic has been very helpful and effective. Their personnel have been on the ground here on the Navajo Nation working one on one with our health care professionals. All the assistance from the federal level is supplementing the great work being done by our health care workers on the Navajo Nation. We cannot thank them enough for everything they are doing to save lives,” said Vice President Lizer.

On Jan. 14, the Nez-Lizer Administration issued a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Indian Health Service outlining the progress made and the need for more resources to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. On Jan. 31, President Nez and Vice President Lizer met with officials from the White House, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Navajo Area Indian Health Service, and others via teleconference, to provide COVID-19 updates and to advocate for more COVID-19 vaccines, testing kits, medical personnel, and other resources to help reduce the spread of the virus. 

In December, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services deployed federal medical personnel to health care facilities on the Navajo Nation, to provide much-needed relief and resources for health care workers to help fight the spread of COVID-19. The Navajo Nation continues to work with FEMA to seek an extension of the deployment of medical personnel to continue assisting health care facilities and additional personnel to assist with vaccination efforts.

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