Any resident of Oklahoma can now get the Covid-19 vaccine -- but it’s not because of the state’s health department. Instead, Oklahomans have several Native tribes to thank; the Chickasaw, Osage, Choctaw and Citizen Potawatomi Nations are offering vaccines to all members of the public. Additionally, the Cherokee Nation has opened appointments to anyone residing within its 14-county jurisdiction. There are several reasons for this: some tribes have quite a robust infrastructure for deploying the vaccines, demand for vaccines within the tribal communities is declining, and the tribes want to help the larger community reach herd immunity faster by expanding vaccinations. Overall, more than 1.2 million vaccine doses have been distributed through the Indian Health Service, and more than 760,000 have been administered through the tribes.

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