Here is a quick guide to understanding how the vaccine will be given and to who. There are limited amounts available and the manufacturers are working very hard to get the vaccine out to everyone. Indian Health Services across the country have received limited amounts. The CDC has set guidelines on who will receive the COVID-19 Vaccine first. They have set a phased system that is being followed by local health officials, including the Blackfeet Reservation.
Phase 1a is for all healthcare workers and residents in nursing homes/long term care facilities including workers. They have started receiving the vaccine.
Phase 1b is for essential workers, police, fire fighters, food workers, postal workers, teachers, and day care workers. Also, people 75 and older will be part of this phase.
Phase 1c is for people ages 65-74 and also for people with health conditions ages 16-64. It is also for essential workers such as transportation, communications, media, public health and safety.
As the vaccine becomes available, the CDC will continue to expand to more groups and phases. Everyone will be vaccinated. The goal set by the CDC is early summer.
Even with the vaccine, everyone needs to continue to follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and the Blackfeet Tribe:
- Food and Drug Administration issued the second emergency use authorization to Moderna COVID‐19 Vaccine to be distributed in the U.S for use in individuals 18 years of age and older.
- The Indian Health Service received 22,425 doses of Pfizer and 46,000 doses of Moderna.
- In the first two weeks of vaccine distribution, 85,000 doses have been distributed through the IHS to federal, tribal and urban Indian health programs.
- We need to continue to diligently prevent the spread of COVID‐19 by consistently practicing the 3 Ws: Wear a mask, Watch your distance, Wash your hands
- With colder weather, and more people indoors – we find that pandemic fatigue is setting in.
- Maintaining physical distance from those we love is difficult. The holidays are typically a time to reconnect with family and friends. As we are seeing cases of COVID‐19 continue to rise, we must renew our sense of personal accountability to protect ourselves, and those around us.
- Vaccination is the safest, most effective and most reliable way to keep yourself, your family and your community healthy and safe from COVID‐19.
- COVID‐19 vaccines are 95% effective and have undergone rigorous safety testing.
- COVID‐19 vaccines are one of many important tools to help us stop this pandemic.
- While we begin administering the first doses of this remarkable COVID‐19 vaccine, there are simple measures everyone can practice now to lower spread, decrease risk of severe complications, and move toward safely reopening. Our best immediate defense against #COVID19 is to continue following the 3Ws and getting your flu shot!
- The IHS has allocated COVID‐19 vaccines to the IHS Areas proportionally based on the number of individuals in the first priority group, which includes health care personnel and long‐term‐care residents as determined by the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
- This would allow IHS to vaccinate 100% of its health care work force and residents of long term care facilities not accounted for by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
- Health facilities will use the remainder of the Pfizer and Moderna doses to vaccinate the next priority populations in accordance with ACIP guidelines and agreements.
- December 20, CDC ACIP interim recommendation for groups to be vaccinated:
- Phase 1b: persons 75 years and older and frontline essential workers (first responders, teachers, food and agriculture, manufacturing, correction workers, U.S. Postal Service, public transit, and grocery store workers) and
- Phase 1c: people aged 65 to 74 years old and people 16 to 64 years old who have high-risk medical conditions, and other essential workers
- The task force continues to coordinate vaccine logistics, issue guidance and communications, and prepare for additional vaccine updates.
- The IHS developed the COVID‐19 Vaccine plan based on The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID‐19 Vaccination Interim Playbook for Jurisdiction Operations, while recognizing the sovereign authority of tribal nations to provide for the welfare of their people.
- Tribal health programs and urban Indian organizations that chose Indian Health Service for distribution are encouraged to follow U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ACIP guidelines. Currently, we are in Phase 1A, which prioritizes health care workers and residents of long term care facilities.
- Blackfeet Community Hospital healthcare workers received the first round of vaccine along with the Blackfeet Care Center and Blackfeet EMS on December 23, 2020!
Blackfeet Information Update (video).
COVID-19 Vaccine FAQ
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has approved a per-capita payment in the amount of $75.00 to all tribal members.
Due to COVID-19, all checks will be mailed beginning Monday, December 7, 2020
Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Blackfeet Tribe.
PUBLIC NOTICE – NOVEMBER 15, 2020:
The Blackfeet Tribe has implemented a temporary homeless shelter at the Crystal Creek Lodge.
Individuals may present themselves at the door and will be given the details for their stay.
Please contact Crystal Creek Lodge at (406) 338-6330 for more information.
The Blackfeet Tribe would like to clarify the public notice regarding directors.
As stated in the notice, the Tribal Offices/Departments are not opening to the public. In consultation with the Tribe’s Public Health Officials, it has been deemed safe to bring the Directors and their administrative assistants back to work to take care of essential program business such as vendor payments, reports, etc.
Also, to clarify any misinformation, the Blackfeet Tribe does not control what the public schools do as long as they follow the ordinance and comply with CDC Guidelines.
The Tribal office is still closed to the public with the exception of essential services. If you need assistance, you may call (406) 338-7521.
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council, along with Incident Command and other essential departments, have worked very hard to keep everyone safe, especially our elders and those most vulnerable and will continue to do so.
We are under Phase 1 of our approved phased plan and do not have any intention of opening the reservation up soon due to the State of Montana having such a high rise in cases as well as the holiday seasons coming up.
Even though the Blackfeet Reservation’s numbers have significantly decreased, we will remain vigilant and ask everyone to continue to follow the CDC guidelines of washing your hands, wearing a mask, social distancing, and avoiding social gatherings.
We continue to pray for all those that lost loved ones, prayers for the sick and suffering or those in need.
PUBLIC NOTICE – NOVEMBER 15, 2020:
The Blackfeet Tribal Business Council has asked all Tribal directors & their assistants to return to work on Monday, November 16, 2020.
The Tribal offices/departments will remain closed to the public but this will allow business to be conducted virtually through phone, email, or fax. An updated tribal directory will be posted.
All safety measures and precautions have been put in place and will be followed. PPE is available for all programs.
Please watch for more updates.
October 23, 2020
Due to the extended STAY AT HOME ORDER issued by the BTBC, LIHEAP will continue to be closed to the public. You may pick up an application at the following places:
- Browning – Glacier Electric
- Cut Bank – Glacier Electric
- East Glacier – Post Office
- Babb – Fire Hall
- Heart Butte-Mini Store
Applications have already been mailed to clients who are 60+ and applied last year. If you are 60+ and/or handicapped, and you did not apply last year, call 338-7977. Leave your name and mailing address and an application will be mailed to you.
Blackfeet Housing tenants should check with your OT for an application to be mailed to you.
Documents you will need:
- Current heating bill with applicant’s name or household member’s name and account number
- Income for the past 12 months
- Social Security Card copies of all household members and 1 Indian ID. If you applied last year you do not have to submit these documents. We will use what’s on file, HOWEVER, if you are adding an additional household member you must submit a copy of their social security card and income for the past 12 months.
When filling out the application please have a working phone number so we can contact you if we need additional information. All persons who are 18 and older must sign a Confidential Release of Information form so take additional forms if needed. This is page 7 of the application. Also, all household members who are 18 and older must sign the application. This is on page 5.
The application process will take longer than in the past. Please be patient as we are trying to keep everyone safe. If you have any questions, please call us at 338-7977 and someone will assist you.
PLEASE MAIL YOUR COMPLETED APPLICATION TO:
PO BOX 880
BROWNING, MT 59417