Public Health Nurse Andrea Hooper discards the needle after administering the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine to Denny Thomas at the United Methodist Church in Kenai, Alaska on Monday, April 12, 2021. Public Health teamed up with the church to offer vaccines during its weekly food distribution event.

United Methodist Church hosts vaccine pop-up clinic during food pickup

After a federal pause of Johnson Johnson vaccine rollout, the clinic will host a Moderna clinic next week.

The Kenai United Methodist Church on Monday, in an event hosted by the church and the Kenai Public Health Center, offered single-dose COVID-19 vaccines during its weekly food bag distribution.

Amanda McKinley and Andrea Hooper, both public health nurses with the state, set up the vaccine clinic in the basement of the church.

When people came for their regularly scheduled food packages, volunteers asked them if they wanted the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

Shirley Woolley, the food pantry chair of the church, said they hoped to vaccinate people who may otherwise lack access to a vaccine clinic, such as those experiencing homelessness, lack access to the internet or live in rural areas.

“Some people, I’m understanding, they’re confused or they don’t know how to navigate the internet,” Woolley said. “So this is kind of targeting that.”

Woolley and McKinley chose to administer the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine, also known as the Janssen vaccine, to demographics with limited access and resources since it only requires one dose, and recipients wouldn’t have to schedule a follow-up appointment.

The event took place one day before the Centers for Disease Control and the Food and Drug Administration recommended a pause in all Janssen vaccine distributions, after six severe blood clot cases were reported in people who had taken the shot. All six cases appeared in women between 18 and 48 years old, within a week or two after vaccination.

Because of the distribution pause, the United Methodist clinic will move forward using the Moderna vaccine next Monday, April 19 from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

For now, the CDC mandated that any extra Janssen doses should be refrigerated and labeled “Do not use. Awaiting guidance.”

On Monday, the clinic had 20 available Janssen doses. They vaccinated five people.

McKinley said she still encourages everyone to engage in COVID mitigation protocols, even as the vaccine rollout increases.

“That’s the way out of this,” she said.

Reach reporter Camille Botello at

More in News

Vehicles are unleaded at the Seward Harbor after being moved from Lowell Point on Sunday, May 22, 2022 in Seward, Alaska. (Photo courtesy Kenai Peninsula Borough Office of Emergency Management)
Lowell Point barge services move 110-plus cars to Seward

The services were covered by the Kenai Peninsula Borough and ended Monday

Anglers fish on the Kenai River on Tuesday, June 29, 2021 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O'Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Watershed Forum receives matching grant from Conoco

The Kenai Watershed Forum was given a grant from ConocoPhillips to fund… Continue reading

A beach on the eastern side of Cook Inlet is photographed at Clam Gulch, Alaska, in June 2019. The Alaska Board of Fisheries is implementing new shellfish regulations in Cook Inlet. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Fish and Game closes East Cook Inlet razor clam fisheries

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game has closed the Cook Inlet… Continue reading

Anastasia Scollon (left) and Willow King (right) stand in The Goods + Sustainable Grocery and Where it’s At mindful food and drink on Monday, May 16, 2022 in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Sustainable shopping finds new home in Soldotna

The Collective used to operate out of Cook Inletkeeper’s Community Action Studio

The Alaska State Capitol is seen on Wednesday, April 6, 2022. (Peter Segall / Juneau Empire)
Legislature modernizes 40-year-old definition of consent in sexual assault cases

‘Alaska took a gargantuan step forward in updating our laws,’ says deputy attorney general

Project stakeholders cut a ribbon at the Nikiski Shelter of Hope on Friday, May 20, 2022, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Stakeholders celebrate opening of Nikiski shelter

The shelter officially opened last December

Peter Segall / Juneau Empire
Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks with reporters Thursday about the state’s budget at the Alaska State Capitol. Dunleavy said lawmakers had sent a complete budget, and that there was no need for a special session.
Dunleavy: No need for special session

Governor calls budget “complete”

A magnet promoting the Alaska Reads Act released sits atop a stack of Alaskan-authored and Alaska-centric books. Lawmakers passed the Alaska Reads Act on the last day of the legislative session, but several members of the House of Representatives were upset with the bill, and the way it was passed. (Ben Hohenstatt / Juneau Empire)
In last-minute move, Legislature passes early reading overhaul

Rural lawmakers push back on Alaska Reads Act

Graduates wait to receive diplomas during Connections Homeschool’s commencement ceremony on Thursday, May 19, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Connections honors more than 100 graduates

The home-school program held a ceremony Thursday in Soldotna

Most Read