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Navajo Nation To Receive Influx Of COVID-19 Vaccine, Medical Personnel

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The Navajo Nation continues on an aggressive COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Health officials are expecting an influx of vaccine and medical personnel this week from the federal government. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports.

Navajo officials are close to achieving their goal of administering 100,000 shots by the end of the month. In all, 94% of the vaccine doses received by the tribe have been administered.

Officials say nearly 29,000 more doses will be delivered to the Navajo Nation in the coming days. The reservation was a national hotspot for the virus last year and demand for doses remains high.

In addition, 82 federal workers will soon arrive on the reservation to assist with vaccinations in Tuba City, Fort Defiance, Winslow and in Utah. The vaccination effort is being funded by $210 million allocated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from a COVID appropriations act in December.

Last week, President Joe Biden signed a separate major disaster declaration for the Navajo Nation. The long-awaited measure opens up resources and reimbursement funds for the tribe’s ongoing response to the pandemic.

Ryan joined KNAU's newsroom in 2013. He covers a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a frequent contributor to NPR.
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