As Covid-19 infection rates tick up again in several states, indigenous communities in Oklahoma are reporting a different problem: not enough people to vaccinate.
Earlier this month, several Native American communities, including the Cherokee, Chickasaw, Osage and Choctaw, opened up free vaccinations to all Oklahoma residents, not just the hundreds of thousands of nation members spread across the midwestern state.
Increasing availability from the Indian Health Service of the three coronavirus vaccines currently approved in the US, Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson, also allowed the nations to push immunizations into more areas, many of them rural and remote.
Now, however, several nations are reporting they have supplies far in excess of demand.
“We’re running out of people to vaccinate,” Brian Hail, head of the Cherokee Nation’s vaccination program, told the New York Times this week. “We’re struggling to get people to come in.”