A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

18.2% of Alaska has at least one vaccine dose

The second highest state on Friday was Connecticut at 14.7%

Alaska finished off the week the same way it started: leading the country in COVID-19 vaccine rollout. As of Friday, 18.2% of Alaska’s population had received at least one dose of the vaccine, according to NPR’s COVID vaccine tracker. That’s compared to the nationwide percentage of 12.4%. The state with the second highest percentage was Connecticut at 14.7%.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 14,360 vaccine doses had been administered as of Friday, including 9,605 initial doses and 4,781 second doses. For the months of December, January and February, Alaska received an allocation of 174,400 pairs of vaccine, or 348,800 total doses including first and second doses.

Getting vaccinated

People who would like assistance with scheduling an appointment to be vaccinated can call the Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management call center. The center operates Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The central peninsula call center can be reached at 907-262-4636. The Homer call center can be reached at 907-235-4636. The Seward call center can be reached at 907-224-4636.

The City of Kenai is offering transportation to and from vaccine clinics located in Kenai in partnership with CARTS and Alaska Cab. The city council approved $5,000 for the program at their Jan. 20 meeting. Rides will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis until the budgeted funds run out. In order to participate in the program, people must be going from an address located in Kenai to a clinic in Kenai and will need to provide proof of vaccination.

As of Friday, people eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska included most health care providers, pre-K through 12th grade education staff, people 65 or older, people 50 or older with certain high-risk medical conditions and pandemic response staff, among others. People interested in receiving their COVID vaccine can determine whether or not they are eligible to receive it at covidvax.alaska.gov.

A map of vaccine providers can be found on the DHSS COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov. Many providers are using the state’s program to schedule appointments, which can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov. Instructions on how to schedule an appointment with a provider that does not use the state’s scheduling system can be found on the provider map by clicking on the icon of the provider through which people would like to schedule an appointment. Appointments at Walmart can be scheduled at walmart.com/covidvaccine.

By the numbers

In all, the 940 COVID-19 cases were reported in Alaska during this week, a decrease from how many were reported last week. 210 new cases were reported on Friday, 25 of which were reported among nonresidents. Four cases were reported on the Kenai Peninsula, including two in Kenai, one in Other South and one in Soldotna.

The state reported nine new hospitalizations and one new death this week, bringing statewide totals to 1,243 and 289, respectively. As of Friday, there were 34 people in Alaska who were hospitalized due to COVID-19, including one person who was considered a person under investigation for the disease. Four of the patients were on ventilators. 4.2% of all hospitalizations in Alaska were due to COVID-19 on Friday.

COVID-19 testing locations on the Kenai Peninsula

On the central peninsula, testing is available at Capstone Family Clinic, K-Beach Medical, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, Central Peninsula Urgent Care, Peninsula Community Health Services, Urgent Care of Soldotna, the Kenai Public Health Center and Odyssey Family Practice. Call Kenai Public Health at 907-335-3400 for information on testing criteria for each location.

In Homer, testing is available from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily at the lower level of South Peninsula Hospital’s Specialty Clinic as well as through SVT Health & Wellness clinics in Homer, Seldovia and Anchor Point. Call ahead at the hospital at 907-235-0235 and at the SVT clinics at 907-226-2228. Testing is also available at Homer Public Health Center daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

In Ninilchik, NTC Community Clinic is providing testing on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The testing is only for those traveling, symptomatic, needing testing for medical procedures, or with a known exposure after seven days. Only 20 tests will be offered per day. To make an appointment to be tested at the NTC Community Clinic, call 907-567-3970.

In Seward, testing is available at Providence Seward, Seward Community Health Center, Glacier Family Medicine and North Star Health Clinic.

Reach reporter Ashlyn O’Hara at ashlyn.ohara@peninsulaclarion.com.

This information is based on data reported by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services between Feb. 13 and Feb. 19.

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