Fort Hall IHS clinic and Idaho National Guardsmen distribute the Moderna vaccine on Monday, February 8.
By ROSELYNN YAZZIE
FORT HALL — There are currently 1,259 people that have at least one dose of the Moderna vaccine on the Fort Hall Reservation.
A Mass Vaccination is Thursday, February 11 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Shoshone-Bannock Jr./High School for individuals who receive services at Fort Hall IHS clinic. The goal is to vaccinate 200-250 people at the event on a first come, first serve basis.
A mask is required to receive vaccination. Vaccinations will not be given to individuals who are feeling sick, individuals vaccinated in the last 14 days (with any vaccine), individuals who have already gotten a COVID-19 vaccination, and individuals currently under isolation/quarantine for COVID-19.
There are two approved vaccines for COVID-19, which are Moderna and Pfizer.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Both vaccines use mRNA, which provides instructions for the cell on how to make a piece of the ‘spike protein’ that is unique to SARS-CoV-2. Since only part of the protein is made, it does not do any harm to the vaccinated person.”
Additionally, “mRNA from the vaccine never enters the nucleus of the cell and does not affect or interact with a person’s DNA.”
Sunny Stone, Diabetes Manager, QI Coordinator, explains Moderna is the vaccine currently offered at the IHS/THHS/SBCHC clinics for those 18 years of age and older. There are 10 doses per vial (sometimes 11). Moderna is given in a two-dose series with 28 days between doses. After both doses the data shows 94.1 percent effectiveness.
Moderna side effects may include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, joint pain, chills, nausea/vomiting, axillary sweating and tenderness of the vaccination arm, fever, injection site swelling, and injection site redness.
IHS/THHS is hoping to get the Pfizer vaccine soon.
Stone states, “Pfizer vaccine is also an mRNA vaccine, but has storage guidelines that require an ultra-cold freezer (currently being installed) at the Not Tsoo Gah Nee Clinic.”
Moderna COVID-19 boost vaccine ready for use.
Pfizer is authorized for use in those 16 years and older. There are five doses per vial (sometimes six). This will also be given in a two-dose series with 21 days between doses. After both doses the data shows 95 percent effectiveness.
Pfizer side effects may include pain at the injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle pain, chills, joint pain, fever, injection site swelling, injection site redness, nausea, malaise, lymphadenopathy.
Stone stressed the importance of keeping appointments for both the first dose and the second dose of the vaccine.
“Each vial contains a certain amount of doses. Both, Moderna and Pfizer vaccine, are not using preservatives in the vaccine, so as soon as the vaccine is thawed and opened, we have a clock to finish using the vial. We cannot return vials to the refrigerator or freezer. If individuals do not come to their appointment, we risk wasting the limited vaccine we receive. Additionally, individuals must receive a booster dose and we are scheduling booster doses to meet vaccination guidelines as well as balancing the doses available in a vial. If individuals are not vaccinated with the booster dose on schedule the vaccine could be less effective,” said Stone.
To schedule an appointment: IHS—beneficiaries (members of a federally recognized Tribes who can receive services from Indian Health Service) call 208-238-5427 or 208-238-5435.
If you are not an IHS–beneficiary (not a member of a federally recognized Tribe and cannot receive services from Indian Health Service), but are living on the reservation please contact the Shoshone-Bannock Community Health Center 208-478-3987 for a vaccine appointment.
It’s also very important to know even those who have been vaccinated will still need to follow CDC guidelines of social distancing, masking, handwashing, quarantining and staying home when sick.
Families will isolate in the units while recovering from COVID-19.
FORT HALL — The Fort Hall Housing Authority received two Housing and Urban Development (HUD) grants to build quarantine units for families COVID-19 affected that needed to be isolated for recovery.
FHHA Director Lorraine Shay said the first grant was under Indian Housing Block CARES funding to purchase four small manufactured units. All four units are located on the Fort Hall Townsite with the first unit completed in October 2020 and the other three completed in January.
She said the reason the development on the last three units took longer was because of infrastructure. “Our Construction Division has no control over utility installation and had to wait for the Power Company engineer to design the electric service lines and then had to wait for the power company’s construction division to install service systems.” Shay added Keith Thomas, staff electrician, completed the electrical connections and the construction carpenters completed the concrete slabs, setting the units, installed skirting and completed the entrance stairs or ramps. The size of the units range from 534 square feet to 880 square feet and the average cost per square foot is $75.93.
The second HUD grant was under the Indian Community Development Block Grant CARES funding for the development of ten quarantine units. They are also manufactured units to develop ten quarantine units. Four were placed in the Low Rental Housing area where sites were available. Two were delivered in November 2020 and the other two were delivered in December 2020. Once they were delivered the power company was contacted to begin engineering work – they’re still waiting for it to be completed.
The last six manufactured units are in the production phase Shay said and should be ready for delivery in late February or early March. She said FHHA is working with Land Use and the Bureau of Indian Affairs to secure the last six sites. The total grant award was $900,000 ofr the project and it was off to a slow start because HUD didn’t make the funds available until September 29, 2020.
Shay said they are coordinating with the Tribes Office of Emergency Management team and they will determine will be placed in the units, for how long and monitor the clients.
Lastly, she said when COVID-19 has been eliminated, the 14 units will become rental units under the FHHA management.