Appointments for next local vaccine clinic go live next week

Where to get a vaccine locally, and how to sign up

Homer area residents have another opportunity to get access to the COVID-19 vaccine in a mass community clinic, while Alaska continues to lead the rest of the country in its rate of vaccination.

According to the state’s vaccine monitoring dashboard, nearly 20% of all Alaskans have gotten at least one dose of the vaccine. Just over 12% of the state population has been fully vaccinated. This remains the highest rate of vaccination out of all 50 states.

Locally, city and community partners are continuing to work well together to get vaccine doses to the eligible people who want them, said South Peninsula Hospital Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro in a report to the Homer City Council during their Monday meeting.

“Everyone still has the energy and the excitement and the commitment of all of the workers as the first (clinic),” she said. “So that is really awesome that we’re able to maintain that level of commitment from everyone.”

As of Monday, the hospital in conjunction with the Homer Unified Command team had administered 2,775 doses of the vaccine. Ferraro said 1,000 people have completed their vaccination series, while 775 have had their first dose.

Those numbers only encompass the work being done by the Unified Command team. Several other providers on the southern peninsula, from Kachemak Medical Group to the Safeway Pharmacy, are also working to connect eligible people to doses of the vaccine.

As of last Thursday, the rough estimate for the total number of vaccine doses given so far on the southern Kenai Peninsula was 3,995, according to Mary Darbonne with Homer Public Health.

The hospital has two full clinics set for Feb. 26 and March 5. The clinic this Friday is being hosted by the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District for its teachers and staff. The clinic will give about 250 doses. Some appointments for the school district clinic were not filled by teachers and staff, at which point they were opened up last Friday to other eligible people in the Homer area.

The March 5 clinic is not accepting appointments, as it was designed as a follow-up clinic to give the second doses to 520 people who already got their first dose.

The next local vaccine clinic with appointments available for first doses will be held on March 12 at Homer High School. Appointments for that clinic go live at noon Monday, March 1 on the hospital’s website. The March 12 clinic will also provide 125 already-scheduled second doses, Ferraro said.

Those currently eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine are anyone aged 65 or older, health care workers, people living or working in congregate settings like nursing homes or prisons, K-12 teachers and staff, and those aged 50 and older who either have a serious medical condition or work a front line essential job.

During Monday’s city council meeting report, Ferraro stressed the importance of people in the 50 and older category double checking to see if they meet the qualifications to get a vaccine. There are many jobs being considered essential by the state for this purpose, she said.

“I just want everybody to just explore a little bit what an essential worker is,” Ferraro said.

She referenced an 18-page document that details who counts as an essential worker, which is linked on the hospital website.

“It is very vast and inclusive,” Ferraro said. “So do not assume that you are not essential. If you’re 50 and over and working, take a look at that link.”

Where can you get the vaccine?

South Peninsula Hospital will hold its next open mass vaccine clinic in conjunction with the city’s Unified Command team on Friday, March 12 at Homer High School. The hospital’s state vaccine allocation for the month of March is 750 doses of the Moderna vaccine. Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro said at a Monday Homer City Council Meeting that about 530 doses of that allocation are being set aside for the March 12 clinic, for those who want to get their first dose.

Additionally, the hospital will offer vaccines through appointment at its testing site, located in the bottom of the hospital’s specialty clinic on Bartlett Street on March 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17. Ferraro said 250 doses have been set aside for these appointments, and 50 will be allotted for each day.

The ability to sign up for either of these opportunities goes live at noon on Monday, March 1 on the hospital’s website, Those without internet or who need assistance can call 907-435-3188.

Vaccines are not yet available through the hospital’s Homer Medical Center or South Peninsula Family Care Clinic. Anyone who has had their first dose of the vaccine does not need to call to schedule a second one. Their follow up dose was scheduled the day they got their first one.

SVT Health & Wellness continues to offer vaccines to its patients as it receives allocations from the state. Patients can call 907-226-2228 to be put on a list to receive the vaccine. The health care provider is owned and operated by the Seldovia Village Tribe, but its clinics in Seldovia, Homer and Anchor Point serve the communities at large. The clinics welcome new patients; a medical visit is required to establish care through SVT Health & Wellness.

Kachemak Medical Group is offering the COVID-19 vaccine to any person in the eligible tiers in the community, as it receives it allocations from the state. You do not have to be a current patient to receive it. To sign up for the vaccine, call Kachemak Medical Group at 907-235-7000 to be put on their list. As vaccine doses are received, the provider will call people and offer them appointments in the order they signed up. If the provider cannot reach a person on the list, they will go to the next name, but the person will remain on the list for a vaccine.

NTC Community Clinic in Ninilchik is offering the vaccine to its patients and to Ninilchik residents. As a tribally operated health care provider, the clinic gets part of its vaccine allocation from the state and part from the Indian Health Service. Ninilchik community members who are in the eligible tiers can call 907-567-3970 to sign up for the vaccine, and the clinic will notify them when it is available.

The Safeway Pharmacy is offering vaccine appointments as doses are available. The store chain has partnered with the U.S. Department of Health and Social Services to provide vaccines to customers. To confirm that you’re eligible and sign up for a vaccine through the Safeway Pharmacy, visit

Expanded eligibility

The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services announced clarified definitions on Wednesday of who is eligible for the vaccine in each of the state’s current tiers: Phase 1a through Phase 1b, Tier 2.

According to DHSS, “senior helpers” have been added to Phase 1b, Tier 1. These are people who assist a person aged 65 or older get their own vaccines. These helpers can not get vaccinated at the same time that they are helping that person 65 or older.

“Both the senior and the person helping will need to schedule an appointment at the same location and time,” the guidelines state. “The person assisting does not need to meet other eligibility requirements to receive the vaccine.

The state also expanded the definition of people whose jobs require them to interact with people in congregate settings, to include “people working in any system whose job responsibilities require them to interact with individuals residing in congregate settings.” It had been previously limited to the judicial system.

The definition of workers in health care settings was also expanded to include “people who stay home to provide health care for a medically fragile person.”

“Eligible individuals provide daily support related to an individual’s activities of daily living (e.g., bathing, dressing, eating) and instrumental activities of daily living (e.g., shopping, laundry, light housework),” the guidelines state.

To double check your eligibility, to see all the state’s options for health care providers offering the vaccine, or to find a specific provider, visit the state’s website at Check provider websites frequently as appointments may open up due to cancellations or new allocations.

Reach Megan Pacer at