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Navajo Nation getting nearly 29K doses of COVID-19 vaccines

February 9, 2021 GMT

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz. (AP) — Navajo Nation officials said Monday that they’re getting nearly 29,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines this week plus 82 more federal personnel to help with vaccination efforts.

Tribal President Jonathan Nez said the goal is to administer 100,000 total doses of the vaccines by the end of this month.

Navajo Nation health officials said the tribe will be receiving 26,000 more doses of the Moderna vaccine and 2,925 doses of the Pfizer vaccine.

“As of Sunday, the Navajo Area Indian Health Service received 78,520 vaccine doses and 74,048 of those doses have gone into the arms of our people on the Navajo Nation — that’s a 94% efficiency rate so far,” Nez said in a statement Monday. “Confidence in the vaccines is very high here.”

More clinical and support staff and vaccinators will be arriving this week to help out at health care facilities in Fort Defiance, Tuba City and Winslow and in Utah.

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The vast reservation covers parts of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention allocated $210 million to the Indian Health Service to support COVID-19 vaccine-related activities for tribes and $790 million for COVID-19 testing efforts.

The funds were made available through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act, which was signed into law in December 2020.

On Monday, Navajo Nation health officials reported 40 new COVID-19 cases and three deaths. That raised the totals to 28,937 cases and 1,060 known deaths since the pandemic began.

Meanwhile, the Navajo Department of Health identified 44 communities with uncontrolled spread of COVID-19 from Jan. 22 to Feb. 4, down from 75 communities in recent weeks.

The tribe has extended its stay-at-home order with a revised nightly curfew to limit the virus’ spread.

The Navajo Nation also is lifting weekend lockdowns to allow more vaccination events.

Tribal officials said there have been more than 236,000 COVID-19 tests administered on the vast reservation and over 15,000 people have recovered.

The total number of people enrolled as citizens of the Navajo Nation is around 330,000. Of those, about 175,000 live on the reservation.