465 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been delivered to the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. Now, it's being administered to the tribe's frontline healthcare workers.
"Some of the frontline workers have said it's basically a light at the end of the tunnel," said Dr. Billy Beets, Chief Medical Officer of the Creek Nation Health Systems.
Dr. Beets said the tribe's frontline workers will get the vaccine first. As they get more doses, they will offer vaccines to the tribe's first responders, followed by its elders and high-risk populations, and then the rest of its citizens.
"We're very blessed and excited to have the vaccine, we've been waiting for this for a long time," Dr. Beets said.
Dr. Beets said the tribe has put together a vaccine task force made up of various health professionals. He said they have met every day recently to make sure the Creek Nation is prepared for the vaccine.
"To discuss the distribution of the vaccine, the receiving of the vaccine, and making sure our tiers are ready for administration," he said.
Dr. Beets said the vaccines are being distributed by Indian Health Service and they plan to get new doses every week. He said the virus has left a lasting impact on the tribe, including losing elders, and the vaccine is a step in the right direction.
"We've mourned together, but I think this will give us an opportunity to start healing together,” Dr. Beets said.