IRVING, N.Y. (WKBW) — The Seneca Nation says it will makes COVID-19 vaccines available to neighboring school districts.
It has recently notified district leaders in Gowanda, Silver Creek, Lake Shore and Salamanca that eligible students and staff can make appointments with the Seneca Nation Health System for the COVID-19 vaccine over the next two weeks.
"The recent rise in cases in the region, particularly among people 19 and younger, makes the urgency for everyone to get a COVID vaccine even greater,” said Seneca Nation President Matthew Pagels. “Keeping our children and are schools safe has to be a priority, and we know that vaccine access in rural communities has been a challenge. The Seneca Nation is proud to work with our school district partners to do what we can to help get the vaccine to as many people in our community as possible.”
In Salamanca, the health system is scheduling appointments for the Pfizer vaccine the week of April 19 and appointments for the Moderna vaccine the week of April 26.
“The Salamanca City Central School District is grateful for the vibrant partnership with the Seneca Nation and the Seneca Nation Health System,” said Superintendent Robert Breidenstein. “Throughout the course of the pandemic, the Seneca Nation has collaborated with the distinct to ensure the safety of our students and community. Allowing Salamanca City Central School District staff and students to have access to the COVID vaccines at the Seneca Nation Health System demonstrates the strength of our relationship and the support of our community. We are safer today because of our mutual commitment to public safety.”
For those eligible in the Gowanda, Silver Creek and Lake Shore districts, the health system is scheduling appointments for the Pfizer vaccine the week of April 19 and for the Moderna vaccine on the week of April 16 and the week of May 3.
“Strong partnerships like the one our district enjoys with the Seneca Nation are paramount in building strong, healthy schools and communities. This has taken on added importance throughout the coronavirus pandemic,” said Dr. Robert Anderson, Gowanda Central School District Superintendent. “We are grateful to the Seneca Nation for making this outreach and helping us protect our community’s health and well-being.”
The Seneca Nation says this partnership with the schools is its latest effort to make the COVID-19 vaccine accessible to residents in neighboring communities.
“The battle against COVID-19 doesn’t begin or end at the borders of our Nation,” President Pagels said. “We are one community, and we can only win this together. Helping our neighbors who live, work and go to school alongside us is part of that effort. We continue to urge everyone to make a vaccine appointment as soon as they are eligible and able to do so.”