There was another very important update around a COVID-19 vaccine that will impact all Tribal Nations. Yesterday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted full approval to a second COVID-19 vaccine. The Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, now being marketed as Spikevax, has been approved for people ages 18 and over. The Moderna vaccine (Spikevax) has been available under emergency use authorization (EUA) for people 18 years of age and older since December 18, 2020.
Spikevax has the same formula as the EUA Moderna COVID-19 vaccine and is given as a primary series of two doses, one month apart. Spikevax can be used interchangeably with the EUA Moderna vaccine to provide the vaccination series. The Moderna/Spikevax vaccine meets the FDA’s rigorous standards for safety, effectiveness, and manufacturing quality required for a full FDA approval. Read more about Spikevax’s FDA approval here.
As cases rise, Tribal communities continue to lead the way in vaccination efforts to protect our youth, elders, and communities. Tribal and community leaders as well as Indian Health Service (IHS) and Tribal healthcare providers, continue to recommend that partially vaccinated and unvaccinated American Indians and Alaska Natives (AI/ANs) receive their COVID-19 vaccine to reduce the spread of COVID-19. On top of getting your COVID-19 vaccine or booster shot, it is important to continue to show your community Acts of Love by wearing a mask, washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water (or using hand sanitizer), getting your COVID-19 vaccine if you have not yet, continuing to physically distance, and testing yourself for COVID-19. There are multiple testing options available to Tribal members across the country. Now, more than ever, these community-centric Acts of Love are needed to keep Tribal communities safe and healthy. We must renew our efforts in the fight against COVID-19. The COVID-19 vaccines are the strongest tools available to Tribes to combat this virus and the unvaccinated remain at greatest risk of catching and spreading COVID-19 in Tribal communities. Working together, Tribal Nations will defeat this virus and ensure our communities are protected for generations to come! To learn more about how to show your Acts of Love for your community, visit the National Indian Health Board website.