WASHINGTON — Tribal leaders will have the opportunity to discuss Covid-19 vaccination planning for distribution and allocation during several conference calls beginning next week in the federal government’s attempt to provide tribal consultation to Indian Country leaders.

While the Covid-19 vaccination is still in the testing staging phase, Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published the CDC’s COVID-19 Vaccination Program Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations. 

The HHS’ tribal consultation will work through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Indian Health Service (IHS), according to a letter sent to tribal leaders from Eric D. Hargan, deputy secretary of Health and Human Services.

The tribal consultation complements the state planning process that began last week with the publication of the playbook guides Immunization Program Awardees (e.g. state and local jurisdictions with routine immunization programs) in planning and operationalizing their Covid-19 vaccination response.

The ultimate goal of this effort to consult with tribal leaders is to ensure the vaccine is properly delivered to Indian Country once the Covid-19 vaccine is approved and deemed safe to administer.

According to Hargan’s letter, tribal leaders will be asked their preference for how a Covid-19 vaccine is distributed to their communities, whether through state and local jurisdictions, or through IHS and how they can support this effort.

Tribal leaders will have several forums to discuss vaccination planning for distribution and allocation, including the following national and regional conference calls:

  • September 28, 2020; 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM ET: HHS Regions 1, 2, 3, 4
      •    Dial-In: (415) 527-5035; Passcode: 199 433 5800 
  • September 28, 2020; 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET: HHS Region 5
      •   Dial-In: (415) 527-5035; Passcode: 199 237 2009 
  • September 29, 2020; 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET: HHS Regions 6
      •     Dial-In: (415) 527-5035; Passcode: 199 978 7009
  •  September 29, 2020; 4:00 PM – 5:00 PM ET: HHS Regions 7, 8
      •    Dial-In: (415) 527-5035; Passcode: 199 692 6624
  • October 1, 2020; 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM ET: HHS Region 9
      •     Dial-In: (415) 527-5035; Passcode: 199 650 2728
  • October 1, 2020; 4:00 – 5:00 PM ET, HHS Region 10
      •    Dial-In: (415) 527-5035; Passcode: 199 442 6687

In addition to feedback during conference calls, tribal leaders can provide input and recommendations in writing by submitting comments to [email protected]  

The deadline for written comments on this tribal consultation is Friday, Oct. 9, 2020.

More Stories Like This

Good Medicine, Part 3: Tribal health networks disseminate traditional knowledge across communities
Good Medicine, Part 2: California Native health center prioritizes cultural connection despite pandemic obstacles
Good Medicine, Part 1: The Native American Community Clinic integrates Western and Indigenous traditional healing models to foster community resiliency 
First Lady Jill Biden to Visit Saginaw Chippewa Tribe with U.S. Surgeon General Murthy on Sunday
Changing How Tribes Deliver Health Care, Using $7.7 million from IHS

Native Perspective.  Native Voices.  Native News. 

We launched Native News Online because the mainstream media often overlooks news that is important is Native people. We believe that everyone in Indian Country deserves equal access to news and commentary pertaining to them, their relatives and their communities. That's why the story you’ve just finished was free — and we want to keep it that way, for all readers.  We hope you'll consider making a donation to support our efforts so that we can continue publishing more stories that make a difference to Native people, whether they live on or off the reservation. Your donation will help us keep producing quality journalism and elevating Indigenous voices. Any contribution of any amount — big or small — gives us a better, stronger future and allows us to remain a force for change. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.

About The Author
Native News Online Staff
Author: Native News Online Staff