Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center to vaccinate area teens and school employees

MISSION – The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) COVID-19 Incident Command Team (ICT) has announced plans for Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center to vaccinate area high school students 16 and over and school employees who have not yet been vaccinated on a first come, first serve basis.

“Our children are our future,” said CTUIR Board of Trustees Chair Kat Brigham. “And to that end, if we can help stop any spread of this virus through teenage students we are happy to help provide some vaccinations”

The effort is in response to reports of an increase in positive cases among teenagers in the local area. High school students who are 16 and over and school employees at Pendleton, Athena, Helix and Pilot Rock school districts are eligible to register online. They can register for their first and second appointment at or by calling the vaccination line at 541-240-8733.

The appointments for first doses will take place on March 17 from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. during a mass vaccination event at Wildhorse Resort & Casino. The National Guard will be on hand to administer the vaccine along with staff from Yellowhawk.

The decision to provide vaccinations was influenced by the number of area high school students engaging in sports and other activities, the number of positive cases being reported and plans for Pendleton High School students to return to the classroom in late March.

“We encourage teens to be smart about their safety inside and outside of school,” said Chuck Sams, CTUIR Incident Commander. “Stopping the spread in this sector is critical to opening schools and keeping our whole county moving toward a full recovery.”

Yellowhawk Tribal Health Center is the Public Health Authority for the Umatilla Indian Reservation.