Alaskans over the age of 65 will be able to get COVID-19 vaccinations starting on Jan. 11, after the Department of Health and Social Services announced a change to the state’s vaccine distribution plan on Monday.
Those individuals will be able to start scheduling appointments on Thursday.
The state’s Department of Health and Social Services recently launched a website where Alaskans can sign up to get vaccinated: covidvax.alaska.gov.
Kodiakans can get the vaccination from either the Safeway Pharmacy or Kodiak Ambulatory Clinic. Both confirmed that they will begin accepting people 65 or older to get the vaccine.
The change pushes up 65 and older people, who originally were slated to start getting the jab in late January. Sixty-five and older people are the entirety of Phase 1b, Tier 1.
Phase 1a was made up of mostly health care workers, making Phase 1b the first Alaskans to get the vaccine from the general public, albeit with the age restriction.
“All clinics who have received COVID-19 vaccine should continue to vaccinate the remaining health care workers from Phase 1a who wish to be vaccinated, but we are also excited to open up appointments for Alaskans who are 65 years of age or older,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink.
As of Monday, 18,266 first doses of vaccine had entered Alaskan arms, according to the state’s vaccine tracking dashboard.
Locally, there are now 41 active cases of the virus in the Kodiak Island Borough. The Kodiak Emergency Operations Center reported nine new cases on Monday.
One was tested on Jan. 2, seven on Dec. 31 and one on Dec. 30. Six were close contacts of previous cases, two were community spread and one was considered travel related.
On Monday, the DHSS reported 232 new cases and three deaths statewide.