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‘It’s a big deal for me,’ COVID-19 vaccination clinic begins at Carlson Center

Published: Jan. 15, 2021 at 5:11 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - On Friday and Saturday health officials in Fairbanks will be administering 1,250 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to health care workers, emergency responders and seniors. The large scale vaccine clinic being conducted is the first of what is expected to be many, as vaccines are made available to the general public. Doctors and nurses will be administering 625 doses each day or roughly eight doses every five minutes according to emergency physician Mark Simon.

Seniors waiting in line were happy to get the vaccine. “It’s a big deal for me and my wife because we are both high risk people,” said Homer Gainey. He went on to say that he has stents in his aorta and has been a smoker for 55 years so he has been extra careful not to get the virus by always wearing a mask and avoiding those who don’t. He said getting the vaccine was easy. “Five minutes to appointment time we walked up to the door, boom boom, done.”

Buckley Hazen also was getting the vaccine and said that while he agreed the clinic made it easy to get vaccinated, registering was a different story.

“Registration was a real pain. That’s the whole bottleneck in the whole thing. Today, this once you got your time scheduled and everything, it went 10 minutes and I was in and out.”

Simon said that they want to make the process as easy and streamlined as possible, “The goal is to get as many vaccines in as many people as quickly as possible.”

Hazen said that he wasn’t worried about receiving the vaccine, “It’s gone through rigorous testing and everything and the FDA has looked at it so I wasn’t concerned.”

Stan Justice who was in line for his shot agreed adding that it is the safest way to return to normal.

“We have to get herd immunity and it’s either that or we all get the disease and three percent of us die, or we all get vaccinated. That’s what it comes down to,” Justice said.

According to Simon this will be the only mass vaccination clinic in January as the vaccines are allotted at the beginning of the month and they are nearly out of doses. He said that they should be receiving additional doses in February and that they plan to conduct more clinics at the Carlson Center when they are able to get more vaccines.

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