Health

Wahzhazhe Health Center to administer coronavirus booster shots

With active cases of COVID-19 rising to pre-summer levels due to the highly contagious Delta Variant, health officials nationwide are encouraging the moderate to severely immunocompromised to receive an additional dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Tuesday, Aug. 17, and by appointment only, the Wahzhazhe Health Center will begin providing vaccine boosters for moderate to severely immunocompromised patients who have already received their initial doses of the vaccine, according to an Osage Nation press release.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is currently recommending third doses for patients who fit the following criteria: 

• Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood

• Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

• Received a stem cell transplant within the last two years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system

• Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott Aldrich syndrome)

• Advanced or untreated HIV infection

• Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

As to whether the WZZHC is treating an increased number of patients with COVID-19 on the Osage Reservation remains a mystery as Dr. Amanda Bighorse, Chief Medical Officer of the clinic, remains silent to requests for comment. The same goes for the questions as to how many doses of the vaccine the clinic has administered to date and whether that’s increasing due to the Delta Variant. The last update on vaccines administered was posted on June 7.

According to the ON press release, “Individuals should talk to their healthcare provider about their medical condition to determine if getting an additional dose is appropriate for them. Individuals will need verification of meeting the above guidelines if seen by a provider outside of the Wahzhazhe Health Center (WZZHC).”

All WZZHC COVID-19 vaccinations are by appointment only. To talk to a WZZHC healthcare professional or schedule an appointment, please call the COVID Hotline at (918) 287-0028. The Wahzhazhe Health Center is located at 715 Grandview Ave. in Pawhuska.

The following information is from the Oklahoma State Department of Health website, Aug. 16, 2021.

Confirmed active COVID-19 cases per city frequented by Osage citizens:
Tulsa – 2,510

Bartlesville – 374                                                                               
Owasso – 299
Skiatook – 122            
Ponca City – 85          
Cleveland – 62
Sperry – 40
Pawhuska – 39                       
Hominy – 26                                                                                                              
Barnsdall – 12                                                            
Fairfax – 6                  

Deaths by City on Osage Reservation due to COVID-19:                                        
Skiatook – 17
Pawhuska – 10           
Fairfax – 10                            
Barnsdall – 7                                      
Hominy – 5     
Sperry – 5                               

Oklahoma Total Cases by Race
White – 56.79%

Unknown – 22.49%
American Indian or Alaska Native – 9.83%
Black or African American – 5.65%
Multiple Races/Other – 3.46%
Asian or Pacific Islander alone – 1.78%

Oklahoma Total Cases by Age Group
18-35               31.77%

36-49               21.49%
50-64               19.13%
65+                  13.85%
05-17               11.67%
00-04               2.08%
UNK                 0.01%

To view more data for the state of Oklahoma, visit: https://coronavirus.health.ok.gov/

Center for Disease Control (CDC) COVID-19 health guidelines and recommendations can be found at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus