SANTA FE, NM (AP) – India’s health service said Monday it was changing its vaccine distribution system to target individual hospitals and clinics that are in high demand for high-end shooting centers where patients are eligible for doses.
The US agency is part of a two-pronged national effort to immunize indigenous communities, which also relies on state health agencies. Native Americans became disproportionately ill, killed by the epidemic, and are now at the forefront of federal efforts to deploy vaccine personnel in the United States.
Dr Matthew Clark, a vaccine safety specialist at the agency’s Vaccines Committee, said the new distribution model “aims to improve efficiency by allowing high-demand locations, sufficient capacity to receive additional doses, and facilities where the majority is eligible.” “Individuals have already been vaccinated just to get the doses they need.”
In addition, most Indian health facilities are starting to offer vaccines to the general population after successful immunization of vulnerable tribes. This leads to the so-called herd immunity, which still depends on the development of a vaccine for children.
Older teens are already focusing on some vaccination efforts in scattered Native American communities.
“Many sites have given their Pfizer vaccines to their 16- to 17-year-olds in an attempt to vaccinate their children back into school,” said Dr. Jul Ulyanna Reese, chief medical officer of the Albuquerque District Health Service in New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Utah.
The Indian Health Service has administered a total of more than 940,000 doses of the vaccine in the United States and plans to exceed the millions of doses by April.
“Because we have been successful in vaccinating high-risk groups, there are many local sites that have been able to increase the availability of vaccines, including those with close socio-economic ties to our tribal communities,” Clark told a news briefing. by phone. “This is an important part of our efforts to achieve community immunity.”
Since the outbreak, more than 80,000 people have been fully vaccinated in the Navajo Health Unit of India. The subdivisions mainly include the Navajo people of Arizona, New Mexico, Utah, and the South Paut tribe of San Juan. Other Native Americans also serve at health facilities in the Navajo area.
Loretta Christensen, chief medical officer of the Navajo region, said nearly 50 percent of the eligible patient population had received the full course of the two vaccine shots. He said the goal is to reach 80% of the target population with initial doses of the vaccine in April.
The Indian Health Service is also stepping up efforts to track the trajectory of the virus in many areas, starting this week, by rapidly distributing home test kits to users.
The agency presents COVID-19-positive test samples from the Navajo area to identify potentially dangerous variants of the coronavirus.