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Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Chairman Joseph Rupnick
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MAYETTA, Kan. — Tribes across Indian Country received the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine last week. In the case of the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation, the shipment was picked up at the Indian Health Service (IHS) located in Oklahoma City, Okla. and transported over 300 miles to deliver 75 doses on the reservation located in northern Kansas.

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ATLANTA — A study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released on Thursday reveals American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/NA) have died from Covid-19 at a rate almost double of their white counterparts. The study was conducted in 14 states that have approximately one-half of the Native population in the United States.

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WASHINGTON — The National Indian Health Board (NIHB) released a statement Monday commending the Federal Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine last week. 

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. — If the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) follows the recommendation of its advisory panel’s approval of the Pfizer vaccine by the end of the weekend and gives the green-light to the distribution, the Navajo Nation is expected to receive its first dosages sometime next week.

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A prominent women’s hospital here has separated some Native American women from their newly born babies, the result of a practice designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 that clinicians and health care ethicists described as racial profiling.

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A panel made up of scientific experts, infectious disease doctors and statisticians, along with industry representatives, formally recommended on Thursday that the Food and Drug Administration authorize the Pfizer-BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine. With the advisory panel’s blessing, it’s likely that the agency will authorize the vaccine in a matter of days and for some health care workers and nursing homes to receive it by next week. 

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In its latest weekly Covid-19 surveillance summary for the week of Nov. 28, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that the overall Covid-19 hospitalization rate for American Indians and Alaska Natives has now grown to 521 per 100,000 people. This new rate is up from 487.3 for the week of Nov. 14.

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The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has shortened its recommended quarantine guidelines for people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus. The CDC, which had recommended a 14-day quarantine since the start of the pandemic earlier this year, now recommends that people who have been potentially exposed to Covid-19 should quarantine for 10 or seven days, depending on test results and symptoms. 

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ATLANTA — Community is a word that looms large culturally among American Indians and Alaska Natives. With the surge of Covid-19 cases in the United States once again, everyone should be taking precautions to protect the health and safety of one’s self, family, friends and community.

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WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. —  On Wednesday, the Navajo Department of Health issued a Health Advisory Notice to warn residents of the “uncontrolled spread” of COVID-19 in 34 communities on the Navajo Nation.