Mobile vaccination units to distribute vaccine in rural and tribal communities

Local News

SISSETON, S.D. (KELO) – A collaboration between FEMA and Indian Health Services is making it easier for people living in tribal and rural communities to receive a COVID-19 vaccine.

It’s the second day of a mass vaccination event in Sisseton.

The Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate Tribe is working with FEMA and IHS to conduct the event.

“We are partnering with nine different tribal nations to help us identify locations in the rural environments and communities to be able to get the mobile vaccinations out,” Federal Coordination Officer for FEMA Region 8, Ricky Stephenson said.

Mobile vaccination units, will be traveling to 13 communities across North and South Dakota.

The units will make two stops in each community, so that both doses of the vaccine can be given.

“The piece that Indian Health Services brings to this is the clinical piece, so we are providing the nurses, the intake individuals to register patients, assess appropriately for the pre screening questionnaire to see if folks are eligible to receive the vaccine, providing education,” Great Plains Area Chief Nurse officer, Dayle Knutson said.

Tribal officials say events like these are a step in the right direction to help get back to some normalcy.

“It’s just common sense to try to help out our community and our whole nation so we can get back to normal,” chairman Buffalo Lake District, Kenneth Johnson said.

“Especially during these trying times it’s really good that all these agencies are able to come together and bring assistance and help to the community for tribal members and non tribal members,” council representative for Enemy Swim, Dallas Owen said.

The mobile vaccination sites will provide up to 250 shots a day. You don’t have to pre-register. The next events will start Thursday in Eagle Butte and Wagner. You can view the full schedule below:

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