Navajo Nation receives COVID-19 vaccines while battling second wave

Timothy Lewis is one of the 463 Native Americans across the country that volunteered in a Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine trial. Data on how Natives reacted to the vaccine is critical for the community.
5:49 | 12/22/20

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Transcript for Navajo Nation receives COVID-19 vaccines while battling second wave
Oh. Not a little bit a man and the list arts each day with a foreign policy offering to the creator Craig for his family and the world's well be. I hope that we can get back to normal I wanna see my grandkids again I want to hold and I want to hug him again. Lewis is one of 463. Native Americans in the country that volunteered in the fights are coping nineteen vaccine trial. My parents went out like this they would have wanted to need to do this and that's the reason why I actually volunteered I realized combat. To be the way we were. Kobe ninety has ravaged the Navajo Nation this area the size of West Virginia in that the rows of a lasting crisis. What mattered in sixty new cases last week alone. Over 700 deaths since March with 77 communities they think I'm controlled spread. We are going up thirteen grocery stores in 27000. Square miles of the Navajo reservation. And we have multi generational homes where many people would have been fairly small spaces but because of people like Lewis Spicer vaccine data including native Americans. They volunteered. So they're trailblazers based on that. Data that's available right now it indicates that. This vaccine. Doesn't. Be negative. Adverse effect. Native Americans. Enough already hit receiving 3900. Fight your taxes so far and is anticipating more from the Internet this week didn't have constant. She's Dilfer. For people. And if people do. All the found is that it is hard. I'm mad at an interview not a doctor Michelle Tom back in May when they had the highest infection rate per capita in the country. Vaccine in the works. I am hearing how they say. Up. She received her vaccine last week. And that's where. While our distribution plan again after the credit Christians it is the chief medical officer at the Indian Health Service is in the Navajo area developing the Navajo nation's vaccine plant -- working with John Hopkins center for American Indians for quite some time here in Navajo. And what we found multiple vaccine trials is there is often. Vaccines that are more appropriate for our population that we do respond better to that we get better immunity from. Release doesn't bill. And even opportunity to if dated receipt of proceeds are to be a blinded in this city and to receive the vaccines do this study. What Livingston a Johns Hopkins American Indian health a research nurse is working with Spicer Biotech Kobe nineteenth on a vaccine trial in the Navajo Nation. Amid a second more deadly wait. We're Livingston the viruses tool here has been personal he. Experience and to hear that pain and hurt district talking with. Family members or even with patients who have called it an eighteen and chased the struggle to breathe alone. And the questions. What's gonna happen to me and there's that fear am I gonna die. The virus shining light on generational health problems affecting the Navajo. Despite some of the strictest lockdown and lengthy curfews the area was hit heart. We got high rates of diabetes cardiovascular. Disease cancer the Navajo Nation got hit hard. We are resilient to remember our ancestors got us to this point. Now it is our turn to fight hard against this virus and to think about our children in our grandchildren. Despite indigenous participation in trials mistrust and intergenerational drama comes from a history of disease. And infection wiping out native American communities. Skepticism on my. My peers my relatives and there's a doubt don't do it. I didn't listen because. I want to help my people want to help five bingo ones a humans. We wanted to get the best vaccine that would help our people. Get through this code would pandemic and I think that sharing of information don't trust. The Navajo Nation band genetic research on their territory to prevent unethical medical experiments on native Americans. In 2003. Have a supply Indian tribes sued Arizona State University. For sharing blood samples from a 1990s diabetes research project without patients or individual's consent with researchers and other projects. And then of course. Who in the 1970s. With the sterilization of native American to win in two. That also was a huge. Traumatic event which made it very very hard for indigenous people to teach us the federal government are eighteen interests Indian Health Service. Livingston says acknowledging the deep trauma is half the battle so I really feel like it's important that. Health care providers and traditional healers. Come together. Really get an understanding. They diseases that are affecting the music news and work together and understanding. Maybe he's seen treatment. On all of these things in order to you to keep people healthy. I do believe a western medicine and I also believe in traditional medicine. I have to world I'm lucky I have two world. Story is shocked ABC news Los Angeles.

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

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