On Wednesday, December 16, YKHC received one tray of COVID-19 vaccine directly from Pfizer via UPS on Alaska Airlines flight 43 and two trays of COVID-19 vaccine from the State of Alaska as part of YKHC’s allocation from IHS on Alaska Airlines flight 45. Each tray contains 975 doses of the vaccine.
On Thursday, December 17, YKHC began vaccinations of Bethel-based Phase 1A eligible healthcare workers at 6 a.m. YKHC will vaccinate residents and staff of the YKHC Long Term Care center in Bethel in the early afternoon, also part of Phase 1A. COVID-19 vaccinations of Phase 1A healthcare workers will continue over the next several weeks and has been offered to all healthcare workers identified as Phase 1A eligible.
Weather permitting, on Friday, December 18, YKHC will conduct two charters to vaccinate village-based Phase 1A healthcare workers, which will assist in planning complex logistics related to distribution of the Pfizer vaccine to village-based residents of the YK Delta. YKHC will schedule additional charters to occur the week of December 21.
“YKHC is grateful for the scientific and medical community who worked diligently to develop this highly-anticipated, safe, and effective vaccine against a life-altering virus,” said YKHC President & CEO Dan Winkelman. “We would like to thank our State and Federal partners for ensuring the YK Delta received this critical and initial vaccine allocation.”
This initial allocation will allow YKHC to begin Phase 1B vaccination much sooner than anticipated. Final guidance from the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) on who qualifies to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in Phase 1B is expected on Saturday, December 19. The final approval of Phase 1B eligible-individuals will then require authorization from the State of Alaska Vaccine Allocation Committee. More information will be provided on Phase 1B in the coming weeks.