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NEWS

Prairie Band Health Center COVID-19 Update

1.13.21

As the Prairie Band Health Center makes strides to combat the pandemic, we continue to see the impact COVID-19 is having on the Prairie Band Potawatomi community. As of January 12, 2021, the Health Center had completed 701 Rapid Results COVID-19 tests, with 114 positive results (16.26%).

The Health Center began administering COVID-19 vaccinations on December 17, 2020. As of January 12, 2021, the Health Center had administered 548 total vaccines. Of those total vaccines, 402 persons have been vaccinated with their first dose and are awaiting their second dose and 146 persons have been vaccinated with both doses.

This has been a very fluid process, consisting of frequent changes. As of today, the Health Center has a stock of Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine and Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine. Both vaccines require a 2-dose series separated by 28-days for Moderna and 21-days for Pfizer-BioNTech. For more information on each of these vaccines, follow the links below:

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
o https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/pfizer/index.html

Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine Information:
o https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/info-by-product/moderna/index.html

Through the guidance of the Tribal Council, the Health Center has elected to take a modified approach to vaccination phases and population priority lists. Tuesday, January 19, 2021, we will begin Phase 1d (highlighted). If you are 16-54 years of age with any chronic health conditions or 50-years of age or older and you wish to be vaccinated, please call 785-966-8220 to schedule your appointment. Please leave a message with your name, date of birth, and best contact number if you are unable to get through when you call.

On a final note, Prairie Band Health Center Medical Director, Dr. Scott Blaker, has provided the following statement:

“The Health Center has been successfully vaccinating high-risk community members against the COVID-19 virus for the past three weeks.  We would like to remind the community about the importance of getting the vaccine.

 We have been vaccinating with either the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccines.  Both have been studied in tens of thousands of individuals and were very well tolerated and so far with the national vaccine roll out very few serious side effects have been encountered.

The most common side effects are pain and swelling at the injection site and fatigue but they both occur in fewer than 10 percent of the recipients.

 Just a reminder that the majority of the population needs to get vaccinated to create herd immunity and to end the pandemic. 

 We understand there are concerns that these are new vaccines that have been developed quickly.  However, it should be noted that there had been preliminary work done on a related SARS vaccine for years that was used to help develop these new vaccines.

 It’s also important to remember that you are not just receiving this vaccine for yourself but for all the high-risk people around you that you could transmit the virus to if you got infected. 

 There has been some controversy in the news lately about whether a second dose of the Covid vaccine is absolutely necessary. 

 The data from the studies on both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines demonstrating 95% protection against the virus were based on a two-dose regimen.  There have not been large controlled studies looking at how effective one dose of the vaccine is.  Some data on the Pfizer vaccine has shown about 50% effectiveness with one dose only.

 The Prairie Band Health Center and public health officials nationwide continue to strongly recommend getting both doses of the vaccine to decrease the likelihood of contracting the virus and to move us more quickly toward overall community immunity.

 If you have any questions about the vaccine please contact the Health Center.