Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service

Ignace Center Offers Special Vaccine Program

Teams with state health department this week to get the Native American community vaccinated.

By , Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service - Mar 9th, 2021 01:31 pm
The Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center provides vaccines to those in the Native community. Photo provided by the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center/NNS.

The Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center provides vaccines to those in the Native community. Photo provided by the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center/NNS.

As part of a special effort to get the Native American community vaccinated, the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center is teaming this week with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services to distribute 360 doses.

From Tuesday, March 9 to Thursday, March 11, the center will hold a special vaccination clinic for any enrolled tribal member or descendant in Milwaukee County older than 18. The vaccinations will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day.

Dr. Lyle Ignace, chief executive officer of the Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, said he expected all of the doses to be distributed and encouraged those interested to register in advance.

Those who are not able to receive the vaccine will be placed on a wait list, he said, to receive the vaccine when supplies become available.

The shots distributed will be of the Moderna vaccine. Those who receive their first dose will also be able to receive their second dose at the center at a later date.

Any enrolled tribal members (or descendants) who reside in Milwaukee County who are ages 18 and older can participate. Upon arrival, potential recipients will need to provide a Tribal ID/CDIB or proof of descendancy.

The state Department of Health Services is sending a mobile team to assist in the effort.

Maj. Joe Trovato, deputy director of public affairs for the Wisconsin National Guard, said mobile teams typically consist of six personnel.

Four citizen soldiers or airmen help set up the site and manage check-in, provide information on the vaccine and monitor patients after the shot.

The center receives its vaccines from the Indian Health Service, a federal agency that provides support to Native American health centers. The Department of Health Services will also be providing vaccines for this effort.

Native Americans have the highest fatality rate in Wisconsin, the third highest case rate and the second highest hospitalization rate in proportion to their population, according to the Department of Health Services.

“The pasts several months, the impact has become really apparent,” Ignace said.

Officials will administer 360 doses, Ignace said.

Ignace hopes that vaccination will allow “part of that level of normal” to return for a community that has not been able to hold in-person gatherings for almost a year’s time.

“I think this will have a huge impact on well-being and relief in the Native community as a whole,” Ignace said.

How to register

Those interested can register by clicking here or call 414-316-3737.

This story was originally published by Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, where you can find other stories reporting on fifteen city neighborhoods in Milwaukee.

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