Alaska began its effort to distribute COVID-19 vaccine supplements this month, but only a few people in the state have received it yet.
Across multiple levels and stages, much about who will receive the vaccine – and when – is still being determined, and the state remains in the early stages of delivery because the number of available vaccine doses is limited.
As of Friday, Alaska received approximately 11,800 first doses of the vaccine from manufacturers Modern and Pfizer. In total, the state has about 60,000 doses of the vaccine available for the month of December, but the number of vaccines available for January is not yet clear, officials said on a call Wednesday.
Here’s what to expect next.
The initial phase of vaccination is known as Phase 1A, and in Alaska it is broken up into three distinct levels.
The first two levels included those who started receiving the vaccine this month. They were involved in long-term care facilities, hospital-based frontline health care workers, emergency personnel, community health assistants and those exhibiting immunizations.
In the first phase of the state, people of third level will start getting vaccines next month. Based on the recommendations of the State Allocation Committee, the third level includes those who work in health care settings who are at the highest risk of obtaining COVID-19 and are also considered essential to the health care system, which Cannot regularly work remotely postponed or done.
They should also meet the following criteria listed by the state:
• Contact the patient directly, or contact patients directly with infectious material; And
• Provide essential services in a health care setting that cannot be offered remotely or can be executed via telework; And
• Provide a service in a health care setting that cannot be postponed without detrimental effects to the patient’s short-term or long-term health outcomes.
Officials said those who fall into this category can begin signing up to receive the vaccine on Wednesday. Vaccination will be by appointment only and on a recent call will be Tari O’Connor, on a first-come, first-served basis with the state Department of Health. Vaccines will be available in clinics across the state and their locations will be posted online this week. The clinics include sites such as community health centers, hospitals and pharmacies across the state.
The Federal Advisory Committee recommended people over 74 years old and including essential workers as part of Phase 1B, while people 65 to 74 in Phase 1C, as well as people aged 16 to 64, were exposed to high-risk medical conditions and Others were involved with essential workers not included during Phase 1B.
Phases 1B and 1C involve a significant number of people – many times more than the number of vaccine doses available last week, Tessa Walker Linderman, who heads the state’s vaccine task force. This is where the committee of the state will be helpful in determining who in particular should be next in line. While the federal committee issues broad guidelines, the committee in Alaska divides them into smaller groups.
Those interested in providing input on how vaccines should be distributed in Alaska can do so during a public meeting scheduled for 4 to 5 pm. You can submit a pre-written comment or sign up to provide 1 minute comment during the meeting.