Over 1,000 vaccinated on Kenai Peninsula

Statewide, 8,918 vaccines had been administered as of Dec. 22

More than 1,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine had been administered on the Kenai Peninsula as of Wednesday.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management Manager Dan Nelson said Wednesday that the borough is currently in the process of vaccinating people in the state’s group 1a tiers, which includes front-line health care workers and hospital workers in addition to long-term care residents and staff.

The first doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine arrived in Alaska on Dec. 14 and on the Kenai Peninsula on Dec. 16. Nelson said that so far, their tracking shows that 1,030 doses have been administered through the borough to people on the peninsula in the 1a tiers.

Statewide, 8,918 vaccines had been administered as of Dec. 22, including 8,866 Pfizer doses and 52 Moderna doses.

In determining who receives the COVID-19 vaccine and when, the state considers recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).

Phase 1a, Tier 1 includes longterm care facility staff and residents and hospital-based front-line health care workers. Long-term care facilities include skilled nursing facilities, assisted living homes and Department of Corrections infirmaries providing care similar to that of assisted living.

Phase 1a, Tier 2 includes front-line EMS and Fire Service personnel frequently exposed to COVID-19 patients, community health aides/practitioners and health care workers providing vaccinations.

Vaccinations for people in Phase 1a, Tiers 1 and 2 began on Dec. 15.

On Dec. 17, the Alaska Vaccine Allocation Advisory Committee met and unanimously determined who would be included in Phase 1a, Tier 3.

Phase 1a, Tier 3 includes workers in health care settings who are at highest risk of contracting COVID-19 and who are essential to the health care infrastructure. To qualify for this tier, workers must have direct patient contact or direct contact with infectious materials from patients. They must also provide essential services that cannot be offered remotely and provide a service that cannot be postponed without detrimental impact to a patient’s health outcome.

Vaccinations for people in Phase 1a, Tier 3 are expected to begin on Jan. 4.

More information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska and DHSS’ vaccine distribution plan can be found on DHSS’ website at http://covidvax.alaska.gov/.

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

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