Charlee Gribbon, infection preventionist at Bartlett Regional Hospital, vaccinates Juneau School District staff member Megan Freas. Freas was one of 86 people to get vaccinated on Friday, April 9, as Juneau Public Schools hosted onsite vaccine clinics at Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School. Students age 16 and older and staff members were eligible to be vaccinated at the clinic. (Courtesy Photo/Kristin Bartlett Juneau School District)

CBJ introduces new vaccine strategy

Pop up clinics to replace mass vaccination clinics

Three months after the City and Borough of Juneau first started hosting mass vaccination clinics at Centennial Hall, city officials are preparing to close that shop and pivot to a new strategy.

“Centennial Hall let us get a lot of people done quickly,” said Robert Barr, planning section chief of the city’s emergency operations center, in a phone interview Friday.

“Communitywide, we need to bridge the gap between what we’ve done already and what we need to do,” he said. “At this point, we will continue to do small, sporadic, geographically diverse clinics.”

He said that the city had distributed about 15,000 vaccine doses at Centennial Hall since the first clinic on Jan. 15. Currently, vaccines are available to anyone aged 16 or older who lives or works in Alaska. When the clinics first started, state-based eligibility restrictions limited the clinics primarily to senior citizens and health care workers.

As of Friday, 62% of Juneau’s vaccine eligible population had received at least one vaccine dose. When children under age 16 — who are ineligible for the vaccine — are added to population numbers, about half of Juneau’s total population has had at least one vaccine dose.

City’s vaccination clinics double as live music venue

People are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving all vaccine doses, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Currently, about 44% of Juneau’s eligible population is fully vaccinated. The city’s overall percentage of fully vaccinated people is just shy of 36%, Barr said.

While city vaccination levels are off to an impressive start, Barr said there’s still work to be done to get more people vaccinated—and that need led to the city’s new strategy of pop-up clinics.

Hello, pop-up clinics

The city is offering mini vaccine clinics to any organization willing to host one. All vaccine doses will continue to be free of charge.

“Any organization that has a group that wants to host a clinic at their site, we are happy to do that,” Barr said.

He said that a pop-up vaccine clinic could be sponsored by a business, a club, a church or an association.

According to Barr, the city received an immediate response when the pop-up clinics were announced late last week. He said organizers have already scheduled pop-up clinics at the University of Alaska Southeast campus and small businesses around town.

“The shift is to increase access and opportunity to get people vaccinated,” he added.

People can request a pop-up clinic by completing a form available at juneau.org/mobileclinic.

In a news release on Monday, CBJ officials said that two of the smaller clinics will be available in the next two weeks.

The first is Friday, April 16, at St. Brendan’s Episcopal Church. The church, which is located at 4207 Mendenhall Loop Road, will host a clinic to offer about 80 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Appointments are available between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

April 22 through 24, Pfizer vaccinations will be available at the Recreation Center at the University of Alaska Southeast, located at 12300 Mendenhall Loop Road. Appointments are available between 1 p.m. and 7 p.m. each day. About 70 doses are available, but additional doses can be added if demand warrants it.

To make an appointment, go to juneau.org/vaccine or call 586-6000. According to the release, walk-ins are welcome to the extent vaccine is available.

Goodbye large clinics at Centennial Hall

Because demand for vaccines through city-run clinics is waning, Barr said CBJ will host a final mass vaccination clinic at Centennial Hall on Saturday, April 17. He encourages anyone interested in getting vaccinating at Saturday’s clinic to make plans to do so.

“We won’t turn anyone away,” Barr said. “We will staff up. We will get more supply.”

To make an appointment, visit CBJ’s COVID vaccine information page at juneau.org/vaccine.

He noted that although fewer people are now attending mass vaccination clinics, city officials make sure that vaccine doses are not wasted. “We don’t take it out of the freezer until we need it,” he said.

Barr said that despite the sagging demand for the large-scale clinics, they’ve been very successful.

“It’s gone quite well. We have a really fantastic group of volunteers who have been with us the whole time,” Barr said. He added that volunteers had given shots, managed lines, directed traffic, and helped direct people in special case situations.

“We haven’t had to train many new people at these clinics. It’s been super impressive,” Barr said.

Governor says help coming for beleaguered tourism industry

School-based vaccination clinics

Last Friday, Juneau Public Schools hosted onsite vaccine clinics at Thunder Mountain High School and Juneau-Douglas Yadaa.at Kalé High School. Students age 16 and older and staff members were eligible to be vaccinated at the clinic.

“After everyone got through the snowstorm, things went really smoothly,” said Kristin Bartlett, chief of staff at the district, in a phone interview on Friday.

Bartlett said that public health officials and staff from Bartlett Regional Hospital vaccinated 57 people at TMHS and 29 at JDHS.

“Initially, we expected to have a higher number of students attend. But, because city appointments opened up this week, several students went and did it earlier in the week. We were happy to provide this clinic for people who could not go elsewhere,” she said.

She said the school would host another onsite clinic, once the vaccine is approved for younger students.

•Contact reporter Dana Zigmund at dana.zigmund@juneauempire.com

More in News

(Juneau Empire file photo)
Aurora forecast for the week of April 8

These forecasts are courtesy of the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Geophysical Institute… Continue reading

Juneau Assembly members and other visitors examine a meeting room formerly used by the nine-member Alaska State Board of Education and Early Development on Monday, April 8, which is about 25% larger than the Assembly Chambers at City Hall. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Of three possible new City Hall buildings, one stands out — but plenty of proposed uses for other two

Michael J. Burns Building eyed as city HQ; childcare, animal shelter among options at school sites.

Senate President Gary Stevens, R-Kodiak, speaks to members of the Senate majority caucus’ leadership group on Friday. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Schools, university and projects across Alaska are set to receive money from new budget bill

Alaska Senate sends draft capital budget to House as work continues on a state spending plan

The Boney Courthouse in downtown Anchorage, across the street from the larger Nesbett Courthouse, holds the Alaska Supreme Court chambers. (Yereth Rosen/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska judge strikes down state’s cash payments to families using correspondence school programs

Decision will become a ‘hot-button legislative item’ in final weeks of session, lawmakers say.

A statue of William Henry Seward stands outside the Dimond Courthouse in downtown Juneau. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire file photo)
Juneau man convicted of sexual abuse of 15-year-old girl more than four years after incidents occur

JPD: Randy James Willard, 39, sent explicit videos to and engaged in sexual contact with victim.

Capital Transit buses stop at the Valley Transit Center on Thursday. Two bus routes serving areas of the Mendenhall Valley and near the airport will temporarily be discontinued starting April 22 due to lack of staff. (Mark Sabbatini / Juneau Empire)
Capital Transit temporarily suspending two Mendenhall Valley routes due to shortage of drivers

Officials hope to fix situation by July; extra tourist buses also scaled back due to fleet shortage.

A fenced lot proposed as a campsite for people experiencing homelessness located next to the city’s cold weather emergency shelter, in the background, is also next door to a businesses where extensive construction is scheduled, thus prompting city leaders to rethink the proposal. (Photo by Laurie Craig)
Indefinite ‘dispersed camping’ for homeless proposed by city leaders due to lack of suitable campsite

Proposed Rock Dump site is next to long-term construction, more costly than expected, report states.

(Michael Penn / Juneau Empire file photo)
Police calls for Wednesday, April 10, 2024

This report contains public information from law enforcement and public safety agencies.

Rep. David Eastman, R-Wasilla, watches as the tally board in the Alaska House of Representatives shows the vote against House Joint Resolution 7 on Thursday. Eastman supported the amendment. (James Brooks/Alaska Beacon)
Alaska House votes down constitutional guarantee for Permanent Fund dividend

Guarantee had been discussed as part of long-term plan to bring state expenses in line with revenue.

Most Read