COVID Vaccine Efforts Continue Across GRIC in Push for “Community Immunity”
Gila River Indian News
With COVID-19 cases continuing to be a concern in the state and for GRIC, Gila River Health Care continues to administer COVID-19 vaccines with daily clinics and Mobile Vaccination Unit events around the Community, including the D2 gymnasium on July 27.
Zella Jones, District 3, works in a health care facility and understands the importance of getting vaccinated. “For people on the fence, it is really important to get vaccinated,” said Jones, who brought her two sons to get vaccinated. “It helps protect you and your family by reducing the chance of getting infected by COVID.”
As the Delta variant spreads, the U.S. and the state of Arizona have recently experienced an increase in positive test results. The most recent GRHC statistics show that the Community has had 98 positive tests between July 12 and August 1. In total, the Community has administered more than 267,000 COVID tests, with a positive rate of 3.3 percent.
Nearly 21,000 COVID vaccines have been given thus far, according to the COVID-19 report released by the Tribal Health Department on August 2. Currently, 43 percent of individuals 18+ years who live within GRIC’s boundaries have been fully vaccinated.
Jacob Jones, Zella’s son, just ust received his first vaccination. “I didn’t want it, I didn’t really want to come, but I know COVID can be serious, so I thought I might as well get the vaccine now,” said Jacob who felt a little more at ease after receiving the shot before starting his fall semester at Imagine Prep in Coolidge.
Schools returning to classes, both virtually and in-person in some areas, has prompted more individuals to get vaccinated. Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are currently available, with Pfizer being administered to those 12 years and older. COVID-19 vaccines have shown to be highly effective against the virus and its variants.
The Delta variant has proven to be more transmissible than other forms of COVID-19. While fully vaccinated individuals may still become infected, medical research shows that their symptoms are often less severe and the vaccine drastically reduces the possibility of being hospitalized or dying. In addition to the vaccine, it is crucial to continue washing your hands, maintain physical distance from others and continue to wear a face mask.
Cherish Kisto, D2 came out to the event to get her second dose of the vaccine. “I work with children and it makes sense to get vaccinated, not to mention I have two children of my own as well,” said Kisto, who shared that she had been hesitant to get vaccinated. “To be honest I didn’t want to get it at first. But now, seeing everyone else get it, it has put me at ease,” she said.
With the Community continuing to push for “Community Immunity,” members can expect to see more MVU events in the coming weeks – and more encouragement for all members to get vaccinated. Below, Noline Norris from District 2 came out with her family to get vaccinated against COVID-19. Photo by Zachary Redbird/CPAO.