Additional COVID-19 vaccines are on their way to the Homer area, as more Alaskans in the state get protected against the novel coronavirus.
South Peninsula Hospital is due to receive more than 500 additional doses of the Pfizer vaccine by next week, according to hospital Public Information Officer Derotha Ferraro. In conjunction with the Homer Unified Command, the hospital plans to administer the majority of those doses in a clinic on Saturday, March 27, Ferraro said in an email.
The ability to sign up for those appointments will become available on the hospital’s website this weekend.
Any Pfizer doses remaining after the mass clinic will be made available by appointment the following week at the hospital’s testing and vaccination site on Bartlett Street. Dates for those appointments will also be announced on the hospital’s website.
“We are still awaiting notification from the state of Alaska of what the allocation for April will be, and we anticipate receiving ample vaccine supplies to meet the local demand,” Ferraro wrote.
The hospital hopes to have another mass vaccine clinic in April, she said, as well as more appointments available on Bartlett Street.
Meanwhile, the Unified Command administered 625 doses of vaccine this past Friday in a clinic at Homer High School. Its next clinic, set for March 19, is already full because it’s a second-dose clinic for those who got their first shots in February.
The hospital was also able to offer doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine at its testing and vaccination site on Bartlett Street, but those appointments are also full. However, Ferraro said the hospital was able to add 40 doses that will be available at the testing and vaccination site this Thursday.
According to state data, more than 27% of all Alaskans have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and almost 19% have been fully vaccinated. The state has administered a total of 357,779 doses so far.
The state continues to have one of the highest vaccination rates in the country. According to data tracked by the New York Times, only New Mexico has vaccinated more of its population — 30% of people there have gotten at least one dose.
On the Kenai Peninsula, state data shows that 14,580 people have gotten at least one shot of the vaccine. That’s a little more than the entire population of the southern peninsula, and represents 24.7% of the total peninsula population. More than 9,400 peninsula residents have been fully vaccinated so far.
Alaska became the first state to open up COVID-19 vaccines to all residents age 16 and older. The Pfizer vaccine is authorized for people age 16 and older, while the Moderna vaccine and the Janssen vaccine from Johnson & Johnson are able to be used on people 18 and older.
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 dhss.alaska.gov/dph/Epi/id/Pages/COVID-19/Vaccineappointments.aspx. Check provider websites frequently as appointments may open up due to cancellations or new allocations.
Where can you get the vaccine locally?
South Peninsula Hospital will hold its next open mass vaccine clinic in conjunction with the city’s Unified Command team on Friday, March 19. This is a second-dose clinic and is full. The hospital also has 40 doses available by appointment and its testing and vaccination site for this Thursday. You can sign up at the hospital’s website, www.sphosp.org. Those without internet or who need assistance can call 907-435-3188. Check back for information on the hospital’s upcoming March 27 mass vaccine clinic.
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.
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 sign up for a vaccine through the Safeway Pharmacy, visit www.safeway.com/pharmacy/covid-19.html.
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 people 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 can call 907-567-3970 to sign up for the vaccine, and the clinic will notify them when it is available.
Reach Megan Pacer at email@example.com.