In determining who is able to get the COVID vaccine and when, the state considers recommendations from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices. Vaccine allocation is divided into three phases.
Those phases are divided into sub-phases. Those sub-phases are then divided further into tiers. Front-line health care workers, along with residents and staff of long-term care facilities were given first priority in Phase 1a, Tier 1.
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.
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 who meet specific criteria outlined by the state. Vaccinations for people in Phase 1a, Tier 3 began on Jan. 4.
People in all Phase 1a tiers were eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine as of Tuesday.
People in Phase 1b Tier 1, meaning Alaskans who are 65 and older, can begin scheduling appointments on Wednesday to receive the vaccine, with the first appointments for people in that group to be on Jan. 11.
COVID-19 vaccine providers
As of Tuesday, people eligible to schedule an appointment to receive the COVID-19 vaccine include people in Phase 1a, Tiers 1-3. People in Phase 1b, Tier 1, or Alaskans ages 65 and older, can begin scheduling appointments on Wednesday at 12 p.m.
In Soldotna, appointments can be scheduled at Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, at Peninsula Community Health Services or at Fred Meyer. At Soldotna Professional Pharmacy, appointments can be made via phone or online. Appointments at Peninsula Community Health Services can be made via phone, email or online. At Fred Meyer, appointments can be made online.
Soldotna Professional Pharmacy has set times on Jan. 14, 15, 18, 20 and 22. Peninsula Community Health Services has set times on Jan. 7, 12, 14, 19 and 21. At Peninsula Community Health Services, a registration packet must be completed for appointment. Fred Meyer has set times on Jan. 7, 14 and 21.
In Homer, appointments can be scheduled at South Peninsula Hospital. Appointments at South Peninsula Hospital can be made via an online survey. South Peninsula Hospital has availability on Jan. 8 and 9.
In Seward, appointments can be scheduled at Seward Community Health Center or at Safeway Pharmacy. Appointments at Seward Community Health Center can be via phone and appointments at Safeway can be made online.
Seward Community Health Center has set times on Jan. 7, 12, 13 and 14. Safeway has set times on Jan. 6, 13 and 20. Individuals going through Safeway should bring their insurance card and be prepared to wait 15-30 minutes after being vaccinated.
More information about the COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska can be found on DHSS’ vaccine website at covidvax.alaska.gov.
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.
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.