COVID-19 (Image via CDC)

COVID-19 (Image via CDC)

About 15% of borough residents have at least 1 vaccine dose

Alaska leads the nation in the percentage of the population that has received at least one dose

Almost 200,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Alaska, representing 130,997 residents who have received at least one dose, as of Wednesday. That’s compared to 9,036 people in the Kenai Peninsula Borough who have received at least one dose of their vaccine.

Alaska continues to lead the nation in the percentage of the population that has received at least one dose of their COVID-19 vaccine. According to NPR’s COVID vaccine tracker, 17.7% of Alaska’s population has received at least one dose, compared to 11.9% nationwide. NPR also notes that their population figures come from the U.S. Census Bureau and include children, for whom the vaccine is not yet recommended.

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. As of Wednesday, 199,148 doses had already been administered, including 130,997 initial doses and 68,151 second doses, though those numbers are expected to be higher due to a lag in reporting. According to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 13,391 doses had been administered in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, including 9,036 initial doses and 4,355 second doses.

Strong vaccine efforts continue amid low COVID-19 case numbers statewide. On Wednesday, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced just 37 new COVID-19 cases among residents. Two cases were reported on the Kenai Peninsula, including one in Seward and one in Soldotna.

As of Wednesday, the Kenai Peninsula Borough was one of four regions in the state not considered to be at “high risk” level and had the second lowest 14-day case rate in the state at 5.45.

Among residents, the state reported three new hospitalizations and one new death on Wednesday. To date, 1,202 Alaska residents have been hospitalized due to COVID-19 and 286 have died. The individual who died was an Anchorage man in his 60s. As of Wednesday, there were 32 people hospitalized in Alaska due to COVID-19, including one person who was considered a person under investigation for the disease. Two of the patients were on ventilators.

In addition to the two new cases on the peninsula, the state also reported 13 cases in Wasilla, nine in Anchorage, six in Fairbanks, three in Yukon-Koyukuk Census Area and one each in Cordova, Ketchikan, North Pole, Utqiagvik.

Three nonresident cases were also reported, including two in Unalaska and one in Anchorage.

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.

Instructions on how to schedule an appointment and a map of vaccine providers in the state can be found at covidvax.alaska.gov.

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.

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