More than one in three eligible Alaska residents — 39.1% — were fully vaccinated against COVID-19 as of Friday.
That milestone comes even after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Tuesday, after severe blood clotting was reported in six people who had received the vaccine.
The Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines are still being distributed.
Almost half — 47.1% — of Alaskans 16 and older had received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Friday. The rates are higher for Alaska’s seniors. Of Alaska residents 65 and older, 75.1% had received one dose and 69.9% were fully vaccinated as of Friday.
In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 19,308 of 47,102 Kenai Peninsula Borough residents 16 and older — about 39.9% — had already received one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday. For residents 65 and older, about 64.3% had already received at least one dose.
That is compared to the nationwide percentage of the population who are fully vaccinated, which NPR’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker estimates is about 23.6%. NPR notes that they track vaccines among total populations, which includes children ineligible to be vaccinated.
NPR also reports that Alaska finished the week at number two nationwide for its vaccine rollout, coming in at 30.8%. Alaska trails first-place Maine by just 0.1%, according to data updated on Friday.
There were 20 vaccination appointments available across central peninsula clinics as of Friday at 5:45 p.m. according to PrepMod, the online portal through which appointments can be scheduled. PrepMod can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.
A map of vaccine providers can be found on DHSS’ COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.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.
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.-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. 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.
More than 575,000 individual doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been allocated to Alaska since last December. That number includes allocations for Indian Health Services (IHS) and to pharmacies participating in the CDC’s Federal Retail Pharmacy Program for COVID-19 vaccination, to which at least 29,240 pairs of vaccine have been allocated.
Through that program, Alaska’s pharmacy partners are Walmart Inc., Albertsons Companies, Inc. and Walgreens, meaning they receive vaccine allocations in addition to the state’s allocation. Through that program, the Kenai Walmart is able to offer the COVID-19 vaccine to people eligible to receive it. Appointments at Walmart can be scheduled at walmart.com/covidvaccine.
By the numbers
Over the past week, 1,104 COVID-19 cases were reported in Alaska, a decrease from the number of cases reported last week. That includes 74 in the Kenai Peninsula Borough, where 20 new cases were reported on Friday, in Kenai.
Additionally, 21 new hospitalizations and zero new recent deaths were reported over the past week. However, the DHSS confirmed 20 COVID-related fatalities on Thursday after a death certificate review. Some of the newly reported deaths occurred as far back as December 2020.
The state is still on high alert.
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 Camille Botello at email@example.com.
This information is based on data reported by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services between April 9 and april 16.