Southern Ute issues flu vaccination survey

Southern Ute Indian Tribe

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe has historically offered an annual flu vaccination clinic during the employee benefits enrollment process in the fall.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the benefits enrollment process will be managed remotely this year.  The purpose of the survey is in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and to ensure we are making every effort to promote and prioritize the health and safety of tribal staff, tribal community and the tribal membership.  The Southern Ute Incident Management Team are interested in obtaining feedback from the staff to identify solutions for employees and their families to obtain timely and convenient flu vaccinations.

Currently, Employee Flu Vaccination Clinics, at the Sky Ute Events Center, are scheduled for:

  • Sept. 14 (8 a.m. – 5 p.m.)
  • Sept. 15 (7 a.m. – 4 p.m.)

The Southern Ute Incident Management Team along with staff recently created a survey to gauge employee interest in a voluntary Flu Vaccination Testing Event.  Below, IMT has provided some general information on the intent of the program. The deadline for employees to submit their survey response will be Sept. 4, 2020 by 5 p.m.

Public health officials are concerned about the combination of influenza (flu) and COVID-19 illnesses overwhelming the medical community during the fall of 2020.  This has the potential to overwhelm the health care system such that critical services may not be available to all members of the community when needed.  The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is encouraging communities to the extent possible to implement programs allowing early vaccinations and to increase flu vaccination rates this season in order to limit the demands on the healthcare system related to flu illness.

Vaccination rates from the 2018/2019 flu year in the four corner states are summarized in Table 1 below.  A breakdown by specific age across the U.S. can be found in the Figures at the end of this document.  Data from the Southern Ute Health Clinic and the Tribe’s Insurance Provider indicates vaccination rates of approximately 42% in the Health Clinic and 30% in the employee population.

According to the CDC, the flu vaccination reduces risk of influenza by 40-60% during a typical year.  Since the efficacy of the flu vaccination changes from year to year, public health officials are targeting a flu vaccination rate of 60% of the overall population in the 2020/2021 flu season to reduce burdens on the medical community during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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