Mar 17, 2021 - Health

Cherokee Nation previews new vaccine problem: Supply is outstripping demand

The Cherokee Nation is now facing the issue that the rest of America will have to deal with in the coming months: demand for coronavirus vaccines has dried up, the New York Times reports.

The big picture: So far, demand for vaccines has outstripped supply in the U.S. But at some point the vaccination effort's biggest challenge will be finding the unvaccinated and convincing them they should get a shot.

  • "It is a dizzying public health challenge that cuts across the country," The Times writes.
  • "It encompasses persuading skeptics, calling people who do not realize they are now eligible, and making vaccines accessible for homebound patients, overstretched working families and people in rural areas and minority communities."

Details: The tribe has successfully vaccinated members eager to receive a shot, and has opened appointments to any qualifying person — tribal member or not — living in its borders.

  • But hundreds of slots haven't been filled. The tribe has administered more than 33,000 doses, but there are 141,000 citizens on the reservation.
  • "Those initial waves of people that really wanted and needed the vaccine — we worked through that," Brian Hail, who helps oversee the tribe's vaccination efforts, told The Times. "We're struggling to get people to come in."

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