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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Coronavirus Disease 2019

The Indian Health Service continues to work closely with our tribal and urban Indian organization partners and state and local public health officials to coordinate a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected American Indian and Alaska Native populations across the country. American Indians and Alaska Natives have infection rates over 3.5 times higher Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  than non-Hispanic whites, are over four times Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  more likely to be hospitalized as a result of COVID-19, and have higher rates Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  of mortality at younger ages than non-Hispanic whites. This has highlighted the need for comprehensive, culturally appropriate personal and public health services that are available and accessible to all American Indian and Alaska Native people.

A Historic Investment

The IHS has received a historic investment of more than $9 billion [PDF] to provide resources for IHS, tribal, and urban Indian health programs to address long-standing health inequities experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives by ensuring a comprehensive public health response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. We have worked closely with tribes and urban Indian organizations throughout this pandemic to get resources out to facilities as quickly as possible.

Increasing Availability and Access to Vaccination Sites

IHS continues to address barriers to COVID-19 vaccination in American Indian and Alaska Native communities by increasing availability to convenient and accessible vaccination sites; increasing clinical and community-based workforce for outreach, education, and vaccination; and accelerating COVID-19 vaccine distribution and administration. Across the Indian health system, we have administered well over one million vaccine doses, increased drive-through testing sites, and provided next-generation at home tests and rapid tests.

Achievements and Improvements

It has been more than a year now that IHS and our dedicated workforce have been responding to COVID-19. Over the past year, IHS has worked to ensure the safety of our IHS patients and staff, as well as tribal community members. We have made some considerable achievements such as developing a COVID-19 data surveillance system and partnering with the Navajo Nation and other local organizations on a project to support the installation of 59 transitional water points on the Navajo Nation. These efforts have increased water access for over 9,600 homes without piped water.

The pandemic has highlighted challenges and risks to our current health information technology system and has reinforced IHS’ commitment to the modernization of our health IT infrastructure. Despite these challenges, we have successfully expanded our use of technology to provide telehealth services during COVID-19.The funding for electronic health record modernization provided by Congress will allow us to proceed with the foundational steps in this important multi-year effort.

Importance of Partnerships

We look forward to continuing our work with tribal, urban Indian organization, and federal partners across the country. The IHS remains committed to working closely with our stakeholders and understands the importance of everyone coming together during this difficult time.

For the latest general information about COVID-19, we encourage everyone to periodically review CDC’s COVID-19 webpage Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving . Information on the number of COVID-19 vaccines administered across the IHS can be found on the CDC COVID Data Tracker Exit Disclaimer: You Are Leaving  in the Federal Entities section.

COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution and Administration by IHS Area

As of September 12, 2021, the IHS is distributing all three COVID-19 vaccines currently authorized and/or approved in the U.S, including Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Janssen/Johnson & Johnson. As of September 10, 2021, the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccines are available for ordering through Area Vaccine Points of Contact. Redistribution from other sites can still be arranged if sites request this vaccine. The table below shows the total number of vaccine doses distributed and administered per IHS Area to date for those facilities that chose to receive vaccine through the IHS jurisdiction. The data includes COVID-19 vaccinations administered to all ages authorized for emergency use or fully licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The IHS administration rate is 79 percent. Some Areas, for example, Albuquerque Area, has a greater than 100 percent administration rate, which may be due to vaccine overfill in the vials for both Pfizer and Moderna products.The IHS jurisdiction is administering all available full doses in accordance with FDA guidance.

Area Total Doses Distributed* Total Doses Administered**
Albuquerque 136,705 139,093
Bemidji 168,135 129,474
Billings 75,285 52,796
California 239,035 166,326
Great Plains 144,060 105,282
Nashville 104,025 78,450
Navajo 281,545 259,434
Oklahoma City 517,830 406,775
Phoenix 205,360 170,973
Portland 106,125 80,771
Tucson 12,520 10,600
Grand Total 1,990,625 1,599,974

*Distributed Data Source: IHS National Supply Service Center, includes total doses ordered and anticipated to be delivered by September 10, 2021 to facilities that chose the IHS jurisdiction for vaccine distribution.

**Administered Data Source: Data is reported from the Vaccine Administration Management System (VAMS) and IHS Central Aggregator Service (CAS). Data may be different than data on the CDC COVID-19 vaccine tracker due to lags and ongoing quality review of data, including resolving data errors.

Note:The administration and distribution data only reflects data for facilities that chose the IHS jurisdiction for vaccine distribution. Alaska Area data is not reported as all tribes chose to receive COVID-19 vaccine from the State of Alaska. The Tucson Area data only includes the one tribe that chose the IHS jurisdiction for vaccine distribution.

COVID-19 Cases by IHS Area

Data are reported from IHS, tribal, and urban Indian organization facilities, though reporting by tribal and urban programs is voluntary. Data reflect cases reported to the IHS through 11:59 pm on September 15, 2021.

IHS Area
7-day rolling
Alaska 747,272 17,545 632,300 2.7% 9.0%
Albuquerque 111,195 8,792 80,820 9.8% 3.1%
Bemidji 196,222 13,715 181,291 7.0% 10.4%
Billings 116,682 8,360 104,666 7.4% 10.0%
California 112,556 11,281 96,555 10.5% 12.5%
Great Plains 168,235 15,461 152,220 9.2% 4.8%
Nashville 106,142 8,897 95,309 8.5% 11.4%
Navajo 311,493 35,415 224,332 13.6% 5.6%
Oklahoma City 662,230 82,128 576,799 12.5% 13.2%
Phoenix 207,535 26,142 180,375 12.7% 13.0%
Portland 153,215 10,338 142,165 6.8% 9.5%
Tucson 36,300 3,149 33,025 8.7% 5.8%
TOTAL 2,929,077 241,223 2,499,857 8.8% 10.6%

COVID-19 testing data is updated on Mondays and Thursdays.

IHS COVID-19 Dashboard

* Zoom in to see stats by IHS Area

Website last updated September 16, 2021