COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)

More than 100,000 Alaskans vaccinated as peninsula cases stay low

As of Friday, 139,151 of the 174,400 initial vaccine doses allocated to the state for December, January and February had been administered.

More than 100,000 Alaskans had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine as of Friday, representing roughly 14% of the state’s population using U.S. Census Bureau estimates. Nationally, just 8.4% of people have received at least one dose of a vaccine.

As of Friday, 139,151 of the 174,400 initial vaccine doses allocated to the state for December, January and February had been administered. According to the state’s COVID-19 vaccination dashboard, 6,308 people in the “Kenai Region” had received the COVID-19 vaccine and 2,107 had already received both doses.

Two COVID-19 vaccination clinics will be hosted at Beacon Occupational Health in Kenai on Feb. 6 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The clinic will offer one vaccination clinic in the morning and one in the afternoon. Those vaccinated in the morning will receive Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine, while those vaccinated in the afternoon will receive Moderna’s. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have efficacy rates of more than 90% and require two doses to be fully effective. The clinic is being offered in conjunction with the Kenai Fire Department.

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 vaccine included most health care workers and Alaskans over the age of 65. State health officials have said that vaccinations for Alaskans 65 and older are expected to continue through the end of February. People can check their eligibility on the DHSS COVID vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov.

Daily case count

250 new COVID-19 cases were announced in Alaska on Friday, including 87 among nonresidents. In total, 1,176 new cases were reported in the state this week, about the same as the number that were reported last week. The Kenai Peninsula Borough reported just 25 new cases this week, including three on Friday.

Among residents and nonresidents, the state also reported seven new hospitalizations and no new deaths, for a total of 1,219 and 279, respectively. As of Friday, there were 44 people in Alaska who were hospitalized due to COVID-19, including three who were considered persons under investigation for the disease. Eleven of the patients were on ventilators. As of Friday, 4.2% of all hospitalizations in Alaska were related to COVID-19.

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.

This information is based on data reported by Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services between Jan. 29 and Feb. 5.

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

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