Over 100 people made appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine on Monday, for next week's vaccination clinics at Homer High School and at South Peninsula Hospital's Test and Vaccine Site at 4120 Bartlett Street. SPH Spokesperson, Derotha Ferraro says 120 people signed up in the first two hours on Monday but there are still over 300 appointments available for eligible people and the hospital website scheduling portal is active 24 hours a day.
“...people 50 years and above with high risk medical condition, people 50 years and above who work within six feet of others as an essential worker, pre-K through 12 and childcare, education staff, people living in very specific congregate settings, living or working in, folks 65 years and older people who are accompanying people 65 and over newly added also was people who stay home to provide health care for a medically fragile person,” Ferraro said.
There are around 5000 people on the Southern Kenai Peninsula currently eligible. An eligibility quiz is available on the State of Alaska's COVID webpage. Public Health Nurse Lorne Carroll says that people who have had COVID should still get the vaccine. Over 56,000 Alaskans, or 7.7%, are reported to have had the virus.
“It's unknown. If you, as an individual will continue to be protected, even if you've had the disease in the past, generally folks are protected from the disease or the infection for about 90 days after recovering, but that doesn't guarantee that you'll be safe. So getting the vaccine is a good measure,” Nurse Carroll said.
State of Alaska data show that over 20% of Alaska's eligible population has already received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Nurse Carroll says that says 80% of the population needs to not be suseptible to infection in order to achieve herd immunity.
“In terms of the last reporting cycle, 21.4% of the state had at least one dose, whereas 14.2% have been fully vaccinated. So we've given a grand total of about 259,000 doses and 103,000 folks totally complete with two doses.”
Emily Read is Director of SVT Heath and Wellness. She says their tribal allocation of vaccine has already been administered to its Native clients, and Seldovia Village Tribe has also already offered vaccine to all employees of the tribe and their household members, and to all residents of Seldovia.
“Seldovia is an isolated community. Of course not all of them have access outside of the community. So we did open it up to Seldovia residents regardless of their eligibility under the state system. Now, the caveat is that they do need to be patients of the health center,” said Read. Vaccination Clinics are scheduled for Friday March 12 at Homer High School, and appointments are also available at South Peninsula Hospital's COVID Vaccine and Test Center on March 9, 10, 11, 16 and 17. To make an appointment go to sphosp.org. If you don't have a computer or need assistance, call the City of Homer's call line at 435-3188.