Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Administers First COVID-19 Vaccine


12.17.20 – Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Chairman Joseph Rupnick receives the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Prairie Band Health Center. The dose was administered by PBHC staff Laura Thackery, LPN.


The Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Health Center administered their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine today.

Approximately 75 doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine were delivered to the Prairie Band Potawatomi Health Center late yesterday afternoon. The vaccine was secured from the Indian Health Service (IHS) located in Oklahoma City, Okla. and transported over 300 miles to the PBPN Common Land for delivery.

“The coronavirus pandemic is the greatest threat our tribe has faced in the past 70 years,” said Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Chairman, Joseph Rupnick, “Ensuring we have access to the COVID-19 vaccine is paramount to the health and wellbeing of our people.”

PBPN Tribal Council and Prairie Band health officials have been working diligently to secure the COVID-19 vaccination to protect and safeguard the community. Chairman Rupnick disclosed that the Nation will continue to pressure IHS and the federal government to provide enough vaccines for the tribe.

The initial vaccines will be administered to the Nation’s essential government employees including, but not limited to, the Tribal Council, Health Center staff, Potawatomi Tribal Police, and Potawatomi Tribal Fire Department.

The Nation anticipates receiving 200 doses of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccination within the next two weeks. Those doses are earmarked for remaining essential employees and high-risk Prairie Band Health Center patients. The Nation anticipates vaccine availability to the general Prairie Band community by the spring of 2021.

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12.17.20 – Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation Vice-Chairman Zach Pahmahmie receives the COVID-19 vaccine administered by PBHC staff, Brenda Catron, RN.

12.17.20 – Prairie Band Health Center Medical Director Scott Blaker receives the COVID-19 Vaccine, administered by PBHC staff Ed Gonzalez, RN.

12.16.20 – IHS Environmental Health Officer Lloyd Luapula traveled over 300 miles to hand-deliver the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to the Prairie Band Health Center.