A vial of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine is seen at Central Emergency Services Station 1 on Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, 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, 2020, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)

State to receive 160,000 pairs of vaccine for April

State health officials announced during a press conference on Thursday that the state will receive at least 160,010 pairs of vaccine for the month of April, which includes doses allocated to the state and the Sovereign Nation Supplement, previously referred to as Indian Health Services or IHS. The new doses include 85,410 initial doses of Pfizer and BioNTech’s vaccine and 52,500 initial doses of Moderna’s vaccine. The state will also receive 22,100 initial doses of Janssen’s vaccine, which represents a two-week allocation.

More than 80 COVID-19 vaccination appointments were available across multiple central peninsula clinics as of Thursday at 2:30 p.m. according to PrepMod, the online portal through which appointments can be scheduled. PrepMod can be accessed at myhealth.alaska.gov.

Fred Meyer will hold four small clinics with the capacity to vaccinate 10 people each, on April 5, 6, 7 and 9 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. All four clinics will offer the Moderna vaccine. Soldotna Professional Pharmacy is holding a clinic at Soldotna Prep School on April 3 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. and is offering the Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine.

How to get vaccinated

A map of vaccine providers can be found on 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.

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. 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.

Who’s been vaccinated

Nearly 30% of Alaskans 16 and older — 29.3% — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 41.2% have received at least one dose, according to state data updated on Thursday. That’s compared to an estimated 64.3% of Alaskans 65 and older who are fully vaccinated and 72.1% who have received at least one dose.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, nearly one in four residents over the age of 16 — 24.9% — are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and 35.13% have received at least one dose. More than half of peninsula seniors — 55.35% — are fully vaccinated. Across all age groups, about 19.9% of peninsula residents are fully vaccinated.

That is compared to the nationwide percentage of the population who have received at least one dose, which NPR’s COVID-19 vaccine tracker estimates is about 29.4%. NPR notes that they track vaccines among total populations, which includes children ineligible to be vaccinated.

Since the state began offering the COVID-19 vaccine to everyone living or working in Alaska over the age of 16, DHSS has also been tracking vaccine distribution among nonresidents. As of Thursday, state data showed that there were at least 6,678 nonresidents who had received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. In total, more than 9,791 vaccine doses have been administered among nonresidents in Alaska.

COVID-19 testing locations

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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