Children as young as 12 can soon get Pfizer vaccination at Spit clinic

Pop-up clinic is part of ‘Sleeves Up for Summer’ campaign

As an incentive to get more Alaskans vaccinated for COVID-19, anyone getting the jab at a pop-up clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today on the Spit will receive $40 in Homer Bucks, the local currency sponsored by the Homer Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center that can be spent at area businesses. The incentive program will be available through June for anyone who receives a vaccine at weekly Thursday clinics on the Spit.

All participants also will be entered to win weekly drawings for $100 to $500 gift certificates at local businesses. People already vaccinated with one or two doses can show their vaccine cards or give the dates of their vaccine at the clinic to get entered in the drawing.

“We’re hoping to use this incentive to really speak to those folks who have already said that they’re planning on getting vaccinated, but they’re really busy because spring and summer happened,” said Derotha Ferraro, South Peninsula Hospital director of public relations and marketing, during the most recent Homer city council meeting. “Maybe they don’t know someone who was sick with COVID and just need the reminder and encouragement to go. We are looking forward to putting that to work every Thursday now through June.”

Winners will be drawn every Thursday for the next five weeks, and names will be left in the pot throughout the contest except for those who win. Funding of $22,000 for the contest and vaccine incentive comes from a state program to target the 30% of Alaskans who in polls say they will get the vaccine, but haven’t yet for one reason or another.

In coordination with South Peninsula Hospital, the city of Homer offers the pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. today, May 27, at the Boat House Pavilion near Ramp 2. Vaccines offered will be the single-dose Janssen and the two-dose Pfizer. Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer, will be visiting the pop-up clinic as part of her visit to the Kenai Peninsula this week. Nurses also will be at the clinic to talk about the COVID-19 vaccines.

The Pfizer vaccine is now approved for children age 12 and older and all adults. Parental consent is required for minors. No identification is needed to get the vaccine.

The state, municipalities and local hospitals have been holding clinics this spring as part of its Sleeves Up for Summer campaign to increase the vaccination rate in Alaska.

“Vaccinations supports a fast and safe return of our economy by protecting the health of employees and eliminating the need to quarantine for two weeks after close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19,” according to a press release from the city and South Peninsula Hospital. “That matters because two weeks is a large part of our short summer season.”

Additional pop-up clinics will be held at the Boathouse Pavilion from 3-7 p.m. every Thursday in June.

According to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services COVID-19 update for the week of May 9-15, of hospitalizations for the disease, 98% of patients were unvaccinated.

As of Tuesday, 275,836 Alaskans age 12 and older are fully vaccinated, with 314,152 having received at least one dose.

As percentages, 45% of Alaskans 12 and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while another 52% had received at least one dose, according to information from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.

Those between the ages of 60 and 69 are in the age group of the highest number of vaccinated people.

In the Kenai Peninsula Borough, 39% of Alaskans 12 and older are fully vaccinated, and 43% have received at least one dose. Almost 62% of peninsula seniors were fully inoculated as of Tuesday and almost 64% have received at least one dose.

SPH continues to offer walk-in vaccines daily from noon-5 p.m. at 4201 Bartlett Street, and by appointment at Free COVID-19 testing is offered at this site daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. For more information, talk to your doctor or call 235-0235 for additional information.