Bartlett Regional Hospital pharmacist Chris Sperry holds a vial of COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 15, 2020. BRH immediately began vaccinating its personnel upon receipt of the vaccine. More doses are expected to arrive in the state this month. (Michael S. Lockett / Juneau Empire)

Officials: More vaccine doses are on the way

Older Alaskans and frontline essential workers among those next in line for vaccine.

Alaska will receive nearly 53,000 more doses of COVID-19 vaccine in January, the state health department announced.

That includes 27,300 doses of Pfizer vaccine and 25,600 doses of Moderna vaccine, Alaska Department of Health and Social Services said in a news release. Older Alaskans and front-line essential workers are among those next in line to be vaccinated.

“This pandemic has been rough on everyone, especially our seniors and those with underlying health conditions,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy in a news release. “Therefore, we will continue to accelerate and offer the vaccine to our senior citizens and Elders who have experienced the greatest illness and death from COVID-19. In addition to our senior citizens, those working in public safety and education, as well as other front-line workers will also be included in Phase 1b.”

[COVID-19 poised to be among leading causes of death for 2020]

Vaccine doses continue to be distributed across the state through a phased allocation plan, with Alaskans in Phase 1a, Tiers 1 and 2 already receiving their first dose of the vaccine, according to DHSS. Vaccination scheduling for Alaskans in Phase 1a Tier 3 began on Dec. 30, with those vaccination clinics beginning Jan. 4.

During the Phase 1b public testimony, over 380 people submitted public comments, according to DHSS, which received feedback from the Alaska Vaccine Allocation Advisory Committee. After review, the State of Alaska released Phase 1b.

“We’re thankful that so many Alaskans are excited about the vaccine and engaged in the public process,” said Alaska’s chief medical officer Dr. Anne Zink in the release. “We wish we had enough vaccine for all who want it right now, but until we do, we’re balancing the science, logistics and ethics to get the supplies we do have out as quickly as possible.”

• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.

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