Tribe offers COVID vaccinations to all

This article appeared in the May 2021 edition of the Chickasaw Times

‘We are pleased to do our part’

The Chickasaw Nation continues to offer COVID-19 vaccines to everyone, regardless of tribal citizenship, employment or state residency.

Anyone may schedule an appointment for a drive-thru vaccine in Ada or at one of the Chickasaw Nation satellite health clinics in Purcell, Ardmore or Tishomingo. To schedule, visit

“We are pleased to do our part to help put an end to this pandemic,” Governor Bill Anoatubby said. “Working together, we can help protect our family, friends and neighbors as we help speed our return to a greater sense of normalcy. Vaccinations, wearing masks, responsible distancing and washing our hands will help make our community and state safer for everyone.”

The Chickasaw Nation began administering COVID-19 vaccines Dec. 16, 2020, to Chickasaw citizens and front line employees.

Rhonda Brown, a Chickasaw elder and laboratory phlebotomy supervisor with the Chickasaw Nation Department of Health, received the first official dose of the COVID-19 vaccination among Chickasaw Nation employees Dec. 16, 2020.

“Everyone should take the opportunity to take the shot,” Ms. Brown said. “The vaccine is going to help a lot of us be healthier and more optimistic.”

The Chickasaw Nation Emergency Operations Facility in Ada was opened as a location for drive-thru vaccinations and command center for emergency management.

The facility is pivotal for expanding vaccine distribution. The new facility is able to manage 16 lanes of traffic to serve as a COVID-19 vaccination site for the community.

“People we vaccinate constantly compare up to Chick-fil-A when it comes to our efficiency and customer service,” Chickasaw Nation Chief of Research and Public Health Dr. Daniel Molina said. “Honestly, I think we’re better. Instead of serving delicious chicken, we’re saving lives!”

COVID-19 vaccinations were expanded to educators, then to Oklahomans and the general public in mid-March of this year.

“The COVID-19 vaccine, when combined with responsible public health measures such as masking, responsible distancing, hand and surface hygiene, limitation of group size and contact duration, and effective air exchanges, can result in significant protection from COVID-19 infection, and serious illness and injury,” Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Health Dr. Charles Grim said.

Chickasaw Nation Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Dr. John Krueger said an increase in supplies combined with a significant increase in the capacity to administer vaccinations has allowed the Chickasaw Nation to offer these vaccines to everyone.