A tribal nurse’s mission to making sure her community gets vaccinated

ABC News’ Trevor Ault traveled to South Dakota where a tribal nurse travels dozens of miles to vaccinate her community.
9:16 | 02/23/21

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:

{{nextVideo.title}}

{{nextVideo.description}}

Skip to this video now

Now Playing:

{{currentVideo.title}}

Comments
Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for A tribal nurse’s mission to making sure her community gets vaccinated
Seven million doses total of the vaccine were delivered today six million of those march the backlog from last winter weather more than 44 million Americans have received at least one generals in chases are largely starting to trend doubts but then places like hard hit South Dakota State where many still don't wanna Wear a mask or try girl leads us off with a look at the vaccines roll out to Kobe and all how much and the reservations that remain both on and off the reservation. Oh. In every sense. A South Dakota news wide open more states. Spread out across sprawling prairies loosely bound by lonesome highways that stretch beyond the horizon. And yet even here would hope in nineteen who has run rampant Colleen back home. Price it's very temperatures. Molly long Parikh is the infection control nurse for the Cheyenne river Sioux tribe for three years she's been face to face with the carnage this virus is caused her reservation. And has two days. She's taking these vaccine doses on the road. So we're going to cherry tree came. Which is how far away. He's eyebrows if the five miles they give the shots you good people. Eric gets real we are taken enough to do Tony just hopefully we can get more people here lined up decadence the end of their death. The Cheyenne river reservation is home to about 121000 people but it stretches more than 40000 square miles and there was only one hospital room of your health care worker you wanna give this community vaccinated. You're going to have to come to death. Of course before you're allowed in you'll need to answer a few questions. This is think it's now. Last April despite pushed back from the state government the tribes of South Dakota set up checkpoints like this one on highways leading into reservations. Thank you out of curiosity do you what if somebody didn't have a reason to come in he'd turn them when you do. At the end of a dirt road miles from cell service we arrived at the cherry creek clinic. Typically staffed with one person to care for the entire town. That traders. Yeah Janus. With no general stores or pharmacies nearby that clinic serves is the only place for things like. Aspirin or after his mall in two days. The return of vaccine. The first patients is hopeful Morissette. She's afraid of shots but showed up at the urging of her children. That I have a weak immune system and get sick and about him you know make it of course. So Davis could add David encouraging you to get the texting and data encouraged me but I encouraged him to culture that they're scared. We watch doubled home make the walk back home as inside her spouse receive this second shots today. And waited a few hours both with the third patient. June little shields arrived for her sweetness. June didn't need coaxing for sure she already called the virus months before it's been weeks in the hospital. Still can't taste or smell anything. It's very scary sound hey hey don't. I don't wish it upon anybody but yeah I believe it's good that stuff that you and your family. That you need finally made it out. I'm sure that. Were you afraid that he cannot. Why did this couple the woman panicked government can breathe and I didn't know violence. Couldn't come out of it or not. Q when was the last patient to get the shot that day in cherry creek meaning Molly and her team traveled almost an hour. To administer three doses. All day. Currently full steam. Dual. 200 people maybe more back to work. What a person that's me. Okay party lost. People heard a presentation. This experience com. Molly is speaking from personal experience her mother Donna ray Peterson is one of the now more than 500000. Americans who have lost their lives to coping nineteen. Donna Wray became infected in the fall around the time South Dakota had the worst corona virus death rate in the entire world. She dedicated her life to working in cultural preservation for the tried and now Molly in her own way is doing the same thing. Would losing your mother. Does that driving you leave it more I guess and away it is because. Experiencing the lots. Personal me of somebody so close to me in all I would it. I want anybody else to experience that ain't nobody wants that on any level but you know experiencing that because of us buyers firsthand heads. It just you know hits a little closer to home. It because of these extensive efforts from Mali and mother health care workers in Cheyenne river Sioux tribe has already administered almost. 4000 vaccine doses this scars from the pandemic now stretch across in every corner of South Dakota and you'll be on the reservations. State leaders have taken little action she prevented governor Christine dole has never instituted a massive mandate or any other restriction if citing her commitment to freedom. We are not. And will not be this subjects of an elite class of so called experts. We don't shun people who think for themselves. Last summer hundreds of thousands of bikers rumbled into the Sturgis motorcycle rally for most attendees icon can then told me they knew about the virus. They just weren't scared and I don't care about. Even though a surge followed that rallied justice health experts feared it would many South Dakota residents are unwavering in their preference for freedom over everything. Get back the seat was open was. It was a lifesaver and Stephanie Vaughan and her father John Foster Kohl owns a deep Dublin pub in Mitchell South Dakota where the town just voted down a master paintings. They say they don't have anything against masks but they avoid wearing them and so do most of their customers. You think that in. The lack of regulations in South Dakota saved your business. I would have to say is so yes they're just don't think so I need some of these states where they've been shut down. For over a year now you know I don't know how they're going to recover new. Just up main street at cheery beast floral owner Dick Anderson says he also almost lost his. Business do what he takes different stands on man asks. Okay incidents is basically it's a humorous action kind of but he's some I strongly believe in the swearing it's not that they get beyond the common put it on and keep us safe and that's kind of where dvd getting pushed back on the com yes you can get push up I had people come Manning guy why don't Wear masks. Can I don't want to Wear masks and I might not have policemen so I'm not gonna. Police and but now a year written to this pandemic South Dakota appears to have at least somewhat turned a corner. Infection rates are down in the state is been fascinating its residents more quickly than almost anywhere else in America outside of the tribal community about eight. Team percent of those eligible had already received at least one dose of the. Seen that's about 5% more than the nationwide average. That this is seared into the memories charm pretty much every cent to code and we always get inquiries about he went as my turn. Doctor Shelton Clark Kerr is the vice president of medical affairs for monument helped overseeing the vaccine rollout in essentially the in tiger western portion of the state. We basically giving away everything we guests and so rough TVs to get anywhere from 3000 it theories. 2000 governor vaccines and we just give them away as soon as we get them. To be received 101000 do you think he'd be ability you had the infrastructure in place to handle that. Absolutely. And these successes like any we've seen since this virus took hold. Had been built upon the tireless labor of compassionate health care workers. Workers like Molly long break deterred by neither fear nor tragedy. Knowing the only way to survive. These two survive together. We are that you had baby got the area C where all relatives all my relations self. In one rare and other we are all relative.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"9:16","description":"ABC News’ Trevor Ault traveled to South Dakota where a tribal nurse travels dozens of miles to vaccinate her community.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/Health","id":"76055877","title":"A tribal nurse’s mission to making sure her community gets vaccinated","url":"/Health/video/tribal-nurses-mission-making-community-vaccinated-76055877"}