Vaccine arrives in Ganado
The vaccine for COVID-19 for health-care workers, long-term nursing patients and staff arrived Monday.
Hospitals, including Sage Memorial Hospital, across the reservation received vials of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.
The vaccine, stored in an ice chest, was carried into the hospital’s pharmaceutical office by Commander Erica Harker with the U.S. Public Health Service.
Harker told staff at the hospital, a Public Law 93-638 facility, that they received 33 vials, or 165 doses, to vaccinate their frontline workers. A total of 3,900 doses were expected to arrive to the Navajo Nation.
Hospital spokesman Gary Pahe said the 130 staff signed up and agreed to take the vaccine.
“We’re going to go by department schedule,” he said, adding they would begin administering the vaccine on Tuesday morning.
Genevieve Notah, spokeswoman for the Navajo Area Indian Health Service, said the Crownpoint Service Unit vaccinated a few employees on Monday afternoon and will continue vaccinating frontline health-care workers and other first responders throughout the week.
“Other service units will be vaccinating this week too,” she said.
To date, the Navajo Nation Department of Health reported 19,766 Navajo people have contracted the virus and 722 people have lost their lives to the virus.
The vaccine was approved for use under the Emergency Use Authorization Act, according to the drug-making company’s website.
In addition, they said the drug must be stored at -90 Fahrenheit.