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Local 5 - weareiowa.com | Des Moines Local News & Weather | Des Moines, Iowa

Meskwaki Tribe expanding vaccine clinic, addressing vaccine hesitancy

Dr. Rudy Papakee said the anti-trust with the government has been hit or miss with the community, but they've been very fortunate with some folks getting vaccinated.

TOLEDO, Iowa — The Meskwaki Tribe in eastern Iowa is expanding its vaccine clinic to the outside community.

This comes after everyone in the tribe who wanted their shot got one. Still, the lead doctor told Local 5 there is still a bit of vaccine hesitancy in the Native American community. 

"The anti-trust with the government, it's been hit or miss with the community," said Dr. Rudy Papakee. "And we are very fortunate that they've taken the vaccine. And we are trying to work on the people who are on the fence and they naysayers." 

Papakee said they probably won't get the naysayers vaccinated, but health officials will still do what they can to inform the community. He said they're trying to convince these folks by telling them real stories from community members who've already had their shot. 

"I put a post out there that said, 'Let's hear your feedback. Let's hear your personal feedback' versus 'I heard on the news who heard from so and so,'" Papakee said. "We wanted real life stories and I am hoping that sort of persuaded some people." 

Watch Dr. Fauci discuss vaccine hesitancy on Local 5's YouTube channel