As Covid-19 numbers continue to grow, plans coming together for vaccinations

Dec 14, 2020

Credit KBBI

As Covid-19 case numbers continue to rise, public health officials are finding the transmission of the coronavirus is occurring in all parts of the community. 
“And when you're looking at the numbers and they exponentially pop up for a seven day period, last week compared to this week, that's because it is so widespread,” Alaska Public Health Nurse Lorne Carrol said. “So anywhere where the virus can transmit from one person to the next, COVID-19 is spreading from one host to the next.”
Carrol made his comments on KBBI’s Covid Brief. South Peninsula Hospital spokesperson Derotha Ferraro added that where transmission is not being seen, it is in situations where both parties are wearing multi-layered masks.
Carrol pointed out that statewide, the number of infected people is close to 40,000.
“So far, we've had a little over 830 hospitalizations and soon we'll experience our 150th death that's attributed in part or wholly to COVID,” Carrol said.
A caller into the Covid Brief wanted to know how vaccines work, once they’re made available in Alaska.
“The way the inactivated vaccines work, is after you get the vaccine, your body typically starts to create antibodies about 10 to 14 days after you've received the vaccine. And what those antibodies do is help to primarily prevent you from getting the virus,” Carrol said. “And the overall goal there is to decrease the total number of people that could potentially get COVID within a community, or that's what we call herd immunity so that the pandemic will stall out.”
The State of Alaska predicts that vaccines may become available sometime this month, but only in limited quantities. Federal guidelines will determine who gets it first. On the Covid Brief, the school district’s Pegge Erkeneff said school staff will likely be given the vaccine before students.
“Teachers are high on the list. School staff are essential and high on the list,” she said. “There'll be a long time before students and children ever received the vaccine.”