Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Nurse Tracy Silta draws a dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at the walk-in clinic at the intersection of the Kenai Spur and Sterling Highways in Soldotna, Alaska on Wednesday, June 9, 2021. (Camille Botello / Peninsula Clarion)

Updated COVID booster now available around peninsula

The bivalent vaccine contains targets both the original COVID-19 strain and the current BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants of Omicron

The updated bivalent COVID-19 booster is available at pharmacies around the Kenai Peninsula.

In the Kenai and Soldotna area, the Kenai Public Health Center is actively taking appointments for the booster. Pharmacies at Walmart and Safeway also confirmed that they had the shot available.

Safeway locations in Homer and Seward have the booster available. In Homer, the booster can also be found at South Peninsula Hospital. The Seward Community Health Center said that the booster would be available next week.

The updated bivalent COVID-19 booster is provided by both Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech and was approved for use on Aug. 31.

A press release from the state Department of Health last week said that more than 38,000 doses of the vaccine were ordered by providers in Alaska.

Last week, Kenai Public Health Center Nurse Amanda McKinley described the new booster formula as “a little more up to date.”

The bivalent vaccine contains two messenger RNA components, targeting both the original COVID-19 strain and the current BA.4 and BA.5 sub variants of Omicron.

State officials recommend the booster to anyone aged 12 or older who have completed their original vaccine series. The booster can be given anytime two months or greater after the last received dose.

This includes individuals who have already received booster doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Health officials recommend all eligible Alaskans be up to date on their COVID vaccines to minimize the infection’s impact on communities. At this point, anyone 6 months and older is eligible for a primary vaccination series and everyone 5 and up can receive a booster.

Boosters are recommended whether or not a person has already contracted the virus.

To schedule a vaccine appointment at Kenai Public Health, call 907-335-3400.

For more information on vaccine eligibility, visit https://dhss.alaska.gov/dph/epi/id/pages/covid-19/vaccineinfo.aspx.

A map of vaccine providers can be found on DOH’s COVID-19 vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov.

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