By Clair McFarland, Cowboy State Daily
The Eastern Shoshone Tribe is offering its members $500 to vaccinate their children against COVID-19.
The tribe in 2021 had incentivized its members 12 and older to get the shot, and had sent 1,984 checks for $500 each as of Jan. 22 for that program, according to a public statement by Karen Snyder, the tribe’s COVID-19 funds director.
Snyder said about 85% of the tribe’s 4,500 members are vaccinated.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in November extended emergency use authorization for a pediatric version of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccination shot to children aged 5 to 11 and the tribe launched its incentive program for the same age group on Feb. 1.
As of Feb. 25, the EST had received 226 applications for the incentive program for children’s vaccinations.
These applicants were on behalf of either children age 5 to 11 who are newly eligible for vaccination or for “adult tribal members who missed the deadline in 2021,” the EST said in a statement to Cowboy State Daily.
Of those 226 applications, about 69% were filed for children. The remainder were for adults.
EST spokeswoman Alejandra Silva said as of Monday, 214 checks have been mailed to tribal members.
“We are doing our best to process these payments in an expeditious manner while making sure there are no duplicate payments or incomplete vaccination records,” added Snyder, who said tribal leaders “commend Shoshone tribal members for continuing to vaccinate.”
Snyder said the program’s objective is to help the tribe lessen COVID-19 impacts to “achieve a normal lifestyle.”
The tribe did not comment on whether any children have exhibited adverse effects following vaccination.