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Carlson Center is prepared to hold first large scale Covid-19 vaccination clinic

Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 4:10 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) -

The Interior Alaska Unified Command, the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services (DHSS), and Fairbanks Public Health have organized Fairbanks’ first COVID-19 point of dispensing (POD) vaccination clinic, which will take place on Friday, January 15, and Saturday, January 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Carlson Center.

This clinic is appointment-only, for Alaskans in Phase 1a, and Phase 1b Tier 1. These include Alaskans age 65 years and above.

Available slots for open registration were filled within an hour. Dr. Mark Simon of Foundation Health partners explained the reason for the limited number of slots saying, “We would love to have an unlimited supply of vaccine and be able to vaccinate everyone who wanted to get vaccinated, but we have a limited supply. There were 1250 immunizations available, and we spread that out over two days to do 625 each day.”

According to the coordinator for the Interior Alaska Unified Command, Lanien Livingston, additional supplies of the vaccine are expected to be available in February, and subsequent mass vaccination clinics may be scheduled.

“There will be a registration process that you will do in the car. There are likely to be two ways you’ll know that it’s time to come in. One will be that you may receive a text, and the other will be probably that you will just enter the building at your appointment time - but that will be communicated to you by volunteers who are in the parking lot,” said Dr. Simon

The vaccine will be administered in the main hall of the Carlson Center, which has been configured to allow for easy social distancing between vaccine recipients. “And then in that same space we have many chairs set up six feet apart for people to remain for their observation period,” said Dr. Simon. After a 15 to 30 minute observation period, vaccine recipients will be free to leave.

The Moderna vaccine requires a second dose be administered 28 days later, and appointment for the second dose will be scheduled upon arrival and after check-in.

As for what’s to come, Dr. Simon told us, “Our hope is that as more vaccine becomes available, that the majority of vaccine can be administered in this setting because it is just a much more efficient process to vaccinate large numbers of people, and we want to get as many people vaccinated for COVID-19 as quickly as possible.”

Other avenues for receiving vaccinations in Fairbanks include Foundation Health Partners, Chena Health, and Interior Health Center. For more information visit Covidvax.alaska.gov

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