Health Watch: Tanana Chiefs Conference supplies over 11k COVID-19 vaccines across Alaska

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 4:56 PM AKST
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - For this week’s Health Watch we take a look at the vaccination efforts of Tanana Chiefs Conference (TCC), which has just reached a milestone in their distribution of COVID-19 vaccine across Alaska.

As of Friday, February 26, TCC has successfully administered over 10,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine throughout interior Alaska. With this figure, TCC is responsible for over 4% of all of the COVID-19 vaccine doses administered to eligible patients in the entire state.

Natasha Singh, Tanana Chiefs Conference general council described the current state of TCC’s vaccination efforts. “Our staff are working around the clock distributing vaccines. Today I think we’ll be able to say we distributed 11,000 vaccines to interior Alaska. Half of that is in our rural villages, and that rollout takes a lot of logistical organization with staff in Fairbanks, staff in the villages, with airlines, [and] weather.”

With such great progress being made in distributing the vaccine, TCC is now offering vaccinations to employees of the Fairbanks North Star Borough School District as a community service.

“TCC is honored to be able to supply the vaccine to the school district employees. Fairbanks North Star borough staff, they’re a pillar of our community. They are responsible of course for educating our students, and in an Alaska Native culture our children are our most valuable resource,” said Singh.

According to Singh TCC will receive a shipment of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine either later this week or early next week. This vaccine requires only one dose be administered, so it is TCC’s hope to target populations that might not be able to make it back for their second dose.

“We hope to be completely vaccinated with all of our villages by the end of the week, so Fairbanks will receive the Johnson & Johnson vaccine,” said Singh.

As vaccine continues to be distributed, Singh wishes to impress upon the community that these vaccines do not cause infertility, are not produced using any human or animal byproducts, and do not change human DNA. She said the proliferation of misinformation should not inhibit people from receiving vaccine and making Alaska a safer state.

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