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TAHLEQUAH, Okla. (KFOR) – The Cherokee Nation is now including all household members of Cherokee citizens into their COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan.

Right now, the Cherokee Nation is in phase three of its vaccine distribution.

Phase three includes all adults and those who are 16 and older who are either Cherokee Nation citizens or those from federally recognized tribes and eligible to receive care within Cherokee Nation Health Services. This now includes household members of those that meet phase three criteria.

“Protecting our communities means vaccinating everyone and now that we’ve allowed time for those in our initial phases access to the vaccine, we are ready to offer protection to those in the households of our citizens,” said Cherokee Nation Health Services Executive Director Dr. R. Stephen Jones.

So far, the Cherokee Nation has administered more than 27,000 vaccines.

“Protecting our tribal communities means vaccinating everyone in our communities. As families, neighbors and friends, we are all in this together.” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “If every household gets vaccinated, we protect each other, our elders and our language and we can stop the spread of this pandemic.”

Vaccine appointments are available at all Cherokee Nation Health Centers.

Appointments can now be scheduled on the patient portal. Appointments scheduled through the portal are for prime or first doses only and can be booked a minimum of one day in advance.

People that meet phase three criteria but do not have a medical chart with Cherokee Nation Health Services, can get a chart quickly and easily. This service is available at any Cherokee Nation Health Center or online.