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Coquille COVID-19 Vaccination Efforts Spread Across Oregon


A Native American tribe based in Coos Bay says it’s been going strong on vaccinating its members – and others - against COVID-19.

Kelle Little is Health and Human Services Director for the Coquille Tribe.  She says their clinic outreach has expanded all throughout Oregon, as many Coquille are dispersed across the state due to having their tribal status eliminated, and restored during the past century.

“Lane County in Eugene at the Ko-Kwel Wellness Center. Roseburg, and Medford, and then also the Portland area," Little told KLCC. "So we have vaccinated 960 people thus far, and after another outreach clinic in Coos Bay, we will be over 1,000.”

Currently there are 1,132 members of the Coquille Tribe, who live in Oregon and elsewhere.

Little adds members of non-Coquille tribes have been vaccinated as well recently, and household members such as spouses are offered the vaccine, whether or not they’re native.

This all helps to protect American Indians and Alaska Natives, who are at higher risk for COVID-19infection and fatalities than other demographics.

Copyright 2021, KLCC.

Brian Bull is an assistant professor of journalism at the University of Oregon, and remains a contributor to the KLCC news department. He began working with KLCC in June 2016.   In his 27+ years as a public media journalist, he's worked at NPR, Twin Cities Public Television, South Dakota Public Broadcasting, Wisconsin Public Radio, and ideastream in Cleveland. His reporting has netted dozens of accolades, including four national Edward R. Murrow Awards (22 regional),  the Ohio Associated Press' Best Reporter Award, Best Radio Reporter from  the Native American Journalists Association, and the PRNDI/NEFE Award for Excellence in Consumer Finance Reporting.
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