About 600 More Southern Peninsula Residents Eligible for Vaccine
There was big news on Thursday morning’s Covid Brief with Kathleen Gustafson. The Pfizer vaccine against the coronavirus that causes Covid-19 was given FDA approval on Wednesday for use in people as young as 12. Homer Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll explained.
“Pfizer has opened up and is available for kiddos that are 12 through 15. So when thinking about Southern Kenai Peninsula, those kiddos that are 12, 13, 14, and 15, those age categories, we're looking at probably roughly another 600 kiddos that are eligible for the vaccine,” Carroll said. “So that's a great opportunity to push those numbers up.”
Carroll said the approval for lowering the minimum age for vaccination was a two-step process.
“Step one is the emergency use authorization. FDA had to get that through. And what that does, this cuts the red tape and assures that safety measures are in place as usual. And then secondly, CDC had to vote to assure that it's safe and appropriate to open it up for kiddos. And that was the advisory committee on immunization practices and they voted it to all 14 said, yep, let's do it. That happened yesterday.”
Of course, when dealing with youth, parents and guardians must give permission, as South Peninsula Hospital’s Derotha Ferraro explained.
“Guardian or parental authorization and consent is absolutely required. We understand this late turn around that not all parents may be able to attend. So in that case your school principal or the hospital website, has those consent forms that you could complete and send in,” Ferraro said. “But also there's just the, kind of the more regular vaccine opportunities that the 12 and up qualify for as well, such as the vaccine and testing site on Bartlett Street. That is a walk-in clinic daily 12 to five, and starting today we will be providing vaccines for any of the FDA emergency use authorized groups, which for Pfizer, which we have is 12 years up.”
City of Homer spokesperson Jenny Carroll outlined a new broadband relief program announced this week by the FCC.
“And what that program does is it provides temporary discounts on monthly broadband bills for qualifying low-income households. The goal of the program really is to connect families and households who are struggling financially from the pandemic to be able to afford internet, to connect to job, you know, offerings and listings, tele-health educational classes, all those services that are really critical these days, and that are more and more being offered online,” she said. “So the, the outline of the program basically is that the FCC is providing a $50 a month discount for broadband service and any equipment that the household has to rent to be able to utilize that broadband.”
There are also discounts for computer equipment. Three carriers in the Homer area, Spits-W-Spots, ACS and GCI, are all participating.