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COVID-19 numbers continue to climb across the lower Kenai Peninsula


COVID-19 numbers continue to climb across the lower Kenai Peninsula, according to local public health officials.

South Peninsula Hospital’s Derotha Ferraro discussed the increase on KBBI’s COVID Brief Thursday.

She said over the week ending July 12, there were 17 visits to the emergency room related to COVID, which is up significantly from the previous week’s nine visits.

Two new COVID-positive patients were also admitted to the hospital. She said the local positivity rate holds at 22 percent, consistent with the prior week. Sixty nine tests came back positive out of the 315 tests administered.

On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted emergency use authorization for a fourth COVID vaccine option: The Novavax vaccine.

Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll said vaccine trials show promising results.

“That's a two-dose primary series of COVID vaccine for adults. So that's ages 18 and older. The FDA authorized that vaccine based on data from the company's phase three, which demonstrated over 90% efficacy in preventing mild, moderate and severe disease,” Carroll said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention must still sign off on the vaccine before adults can get it.

Ferraro said pending that authorization, South Peninsula Hospital in Homer plans on making it available.

“So our intention is that if the state orders any of those based on CDC recommendation, which hasn't yet happened, if and when the state orders that, then our intention is to order some and make those available locally at our vaccine clinic,” Ferraro said.

A panel of CDC advisers on vaccines is expected to meet next week. The U.S. has secured an initial 3.2 million doses of that vaccine.

You can find more information about the Novavax vaccine at FDA.Gov.

To hear KBBI’s full COVID Brief click here, or find the COVID Brief podcast on your favorite app.

Simon Lopez is a long time listener of KBBI Homer. He values Kachemak Bay’s beauty and its overall health. Simon is community oriented and enjoys being involved in building and maintaining an informed and proactive community.
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