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Bois Forte hits road to deliver vaccine

The band plans to launch a mobile vaccination unit.

Mobil Vaccine pix.JPG
The Bois Forte Band will use this mobile unit to deliver COVID-19 vaccine to remote band members beginning next week. Pictured from left to right are Terry Defoe, RN, BSN, PHN; Darnell Goggleye, network technician; Sue Larson, clinic administrator; Ericka Cote, RMA, LXMO, CNAR; Dr. Bill Durie and Julie Skoglund, PharmD.

In an effort to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to band members who may not be able to make it to the Bois Forte clinics in Nett Lake or Lake Vermillion, a medical team will bring the vaccine out into the countryside beginning next week.

Bois Forte District 1 Rep. Shane Drift will take the wheel, as the mobile unit pays its first visits to band members in Duluth and the Twin Cities Thursday and Friday, March 18 and 19. He will be accompanied by Bois Forte clinical staff. They will return to the same communities in April to administer a second dose.

People have been signing up for the shots at a brisk pace, and Bois Forte Tribal Chairwoman Cathy Chavers said she expects more to register in the coming days, as news of the vaccinations spreads. As of Friday, 40 people were scheduled to receive the vaccine in Duluth and another 140 in the Twin Cities.

The mobile unit was put together primarily to deliver the vaccine to band members, but Chavers said descendants and members of their households also will be eligible for shots.

"We want to show the positives that we do for communities," said Chavers in a press release. "We care about people. We are compassionate — that is who we are as Ojibwe people. We are trying to protect our resources, and our resources are our people. That includes family, friends and our co-workers."

Related Topics: CORONAVIRUSCOVID-19 VACCINE
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