A registered nurse prepares a COVID-19 vaccine at the pop-up clinic on the Spit on May 27. (Photo by Sarah Knapp/Homer News)

New data: 45% of southern peninsula fully vaxxed

Latest information now includes vaccination rate for “other south” region of Kenai Peninsula.

Almost half the population of the southern Kenai Peninsula has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to new data from the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. Of nearly 15,000 residents — including those age 12 and older not eligible for vaccines — 6,808 or 45% are fully vaccinated and 7,255 or 48% have received one dose.

The new information released last week now includes vaccination rates for the “other south” region of the southern peninsula, that is, those residents who live outside of Anchor Point, Homer, Diamond Ridge and Fritz Creek. The other south region has the lowest vaccination rate on the southern peninsula, with just 821 or 21.1% having received one dose and 776 or 19.9% who are fully vaccinated. The Homer area — Homer, Diamond Ridge and Fritz Creek — has the highest vaccination rate, with 5,597 or 61.4% having receive one dose and 5,241 or 57.5% having been fully vaccinated.

DHSS had been showing single-dose and fully vaccinated rates at the borough or large municipality level, but only over the past two months has it begun sorting out that information at the community level. On Table 7 of its Summary Data Tables on the COVID-19 data hub, the table shows vaccination rates for Census Designated Places of 1,000 people or more. Last week the table included rates for Census Designated Places of less than 1,000 people, identified as “other south” and “other north” in the table.

Health officials emphasize that getting vaccinated remains the best measure to prevent COVID-19 infection or severe illness, hospitalization or death from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

According to the DHSS weekly update, from Jan. 1-July 3, Alaska has seen 514 hospitalizations and 82 deaths. Of the hospitalizations, 97% were of unvaccinated people. There was one death and 18 hospitalizations of people infected with COVID-19 who had been vaccinated and were two weeks beyond their final dose of a vaccine.

In the Kenai and Nikiski area, 39.4% have received one dose and 36.8% have received two doses. In the Seward area, 47.1% have received one dose and 44.6% have received two doses. In the Sterling CDP, 18.8% have received one dose and 17.6% have received two doses. In the “other north” area, 42.6% have received at least one dose and 40.1% are fully vaccinated.

The borough vaccination rates are based on a percentage of the population ages 12 and older — those age groups approved to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. The community vaccination rates are based on a percentage of the total population, and thus the percentage would be less than if it applied to the vaccine eligible group. The total population number is based on 2020 estimates while the age 12 and older number is based on 2019 estimates.

For statewide and borough vaccination rates, as of Wednesday, 31,0745 Alaskans age 12 and older are fully vaccinated, with 340,065 having received at least one dose.

As percentages, 51% of Alaskans age 12 and older were fully vaccinated against COVID-19, while 56% had received at least one dose, according to information from DHSS.

The Kenai Peninsula Borough has reached 46%, or 22,939 people, who have received at least one dose. and 21,556 or 43% who are fully vaccinated.

Where to get vaccinated

South Peninsula Hospital continues to offer walk-in vaccines daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 4201 Bartlett Street, and by appointment at www.sphosp.org. Vaccines also are offered by appointment at Homer Medical Clinic and the SPH Family Care Clinic. For more information at the Bartlett Street clinic, talk to your doctor or call 235-0235 for additional information. To make appointments at Homer Medical Center, call 235-8586. To make appointments at the South Peninsula Family Care Clinic, call 235-0900. The Moderna, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Pfizer vaccines are offered, with Moderna only on Fridays at the Bartlett Street clinic.

Safeway – Homer, 90 Sterling Highway, offers clinics 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday by appointment or walk-ins. Call 226-1060 for appointments. The Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines are offered.

Kachemak Medical Group, 4129 Bartlett Street, offers vaccines by appointment. Call 235-7000.

Ulmer’s Pharmacy, 3858 Lake Street, offers Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines by appointment of walk-ins. Call 235-7760.

Ninilchik Clinic, 15765 Kingsley Road, Ninilchik offers Moderna and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccines by appointment and Pfizer on demand. Call 907-567-3970.

SVT Health & Wellness offers Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson/Janssen and Moderna vaccines for established medical patients of the three SVT Health & Wellness locations: 880 East End Road, Homer (226-2228); 72351 Milo Fritz Ave., Anchor Point (226-2238), and 206 Main Street, Seldovia (907-435-3262)

Reach Michael Armstrong at marmstrong@homernews.com.

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