Valdez COVID-19 Vaccine Updates

Last updated 01.08.2021, 3:45 p.m.

Valdez Unified Command continues to closely monitor the progress of COVID-19 vaccine development. Multiple types of vaccine are being tested and submitted for authorization. 

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COVID-19 Vaccine in Alaska

Click here for the most current information from Alaska DHSS regarding COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska.

Vaccine_WeAreHereImage courtesy of Alaska DHSS. Image is for illustrative purposes only. Visit covidvax.alaska.gov to learn more.

Statewide Vaccine Allocation & Eligibility
Supplies of both Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccine are available in Alaska. Vaccine supply is currently very limited and available only to specific populations in a phased approached based upon federal and state guidelines. 

Based upon federal guidelines, the State of Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Committee determined those currently eligible for vaccination include:

  • Phase 1A - Tier One
    • Hospital based front line healthcare workers at highest risk for COVID-19 infection.
    • Long-term care facility residents and staff.
  • Phase 1A - Tier Two
    • EMS and firefighters who provide emergency medical services.
    • Community health aides and practitioners.
    • Individuals who are required to perform vaccinations.
  • Phase 1A - Tier Three
    • Workers in health care settings at highest risk of contracting COVID-19 who are essential to the health care infrastructure and who regularly provide health care services that cannot be postponed or provided remotely. To be a qualifying worker in a health care setting, you must meet all of the following criteria:
      • Have direct patient contact, or have direct contact with infectious materials from patients; and,
      • Provide essential services in a health care setting that cannot be offered remotely or performed via telework; and,
      • Provide a service in a health care setting that cannot be postponed without detrimental impact to the patient’s short-term or long-term health outcomes.
      • This Tier applies to licensed, certified, and other workers in health care settings in the State of Alaska, who meet the above criteria. This includes direct support professionals who provide personal care or home and community-based services, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists, and workers performing COVID testing.
  • Phase 1B - Tier One
    • Elders age 65 and older.

On Dec. 31, the State of Alaska published the complete list of those eligible for vaccination for different tiers within Phase 1B. However, no additional information is available at this time regarding the timeline for vaccine distribution other than Phase 1B-Tier One (Elders age 65 and older). Click here to view the full eligibility list for Phase 1B. 

Please note, Alaska’s distribution process and Phases/Tiers do not include military service members or Valdez Native Tribe members. They will be vaccinated separately through a direct federal or Indian Health Service allocation. Timing of eligibility under the direct federal or Indian Health Service allocations may differ from timing of eligibility under the state allocation.   

Click here to read more about Alaska's vaccine availability and allocation.

Vaccine Specific Information
Both the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna immunizations require two doses of vaccine given over a period of time. Current science shows immunity is not immediate following vaccination and may also require future booster immunizations. 

Click here to view the Pfizer-BioNTech Emergency Use Authorization COVID-19 Fact Sheet for Recipients & Caregivers (Revised December 2020)

CDC states cost will not be a barrier to receiving COVID-19 vaccination. The State of Alaska is working to ensure all Alaskans have access to the vaccine at no out-of-pocket cost to the patient.

Click here to read Frequently Asked Questions regarding COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska.

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Schedule Your Vaccine Appointment (2)


COVID-19 Vaccine in Valdez

Vaccine is allocated in Valdez based upon state and federal guidelines. Local officials do not make allocation decisions. 

The Valdez Unified Command’s Vaccine Task Force, comprised of members of the local medical community, public health, city staff, Valdez Native Tribe representatives, and others, work together to determine logistics for vaccine distribution based upon state/federal allocation guidelines. 

IMG_0334Local Distribution Schedule 
Valdez received its first shipment of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 16th. Regular shipments of Pfizer-BioNTech and/or Moderna vaccine will be ordered as needed based upon state guidelines for distribution.

Vaccine distribution for Phase 1A - Tiers 1 & 2 in Valdez began Dec. 17th and will continue thru January 2021. 

  1. Vaccine distribution for Phase 1A - Tier 3 in Valdez began Jan. 4th and will continue into February 2021.

  2. Vaccine distribution for Phase 1B - Tier 1 begins Jan. 12th.

Process for Local Distribution
The local process used for the initial distribution groups will consist of several closed point of dispensing (POD) clinics, similar to what is practiced for flu vaccine each fall in Valdez. A closed POD is a smaller, focused event just for a specific population. Closed PODs are scheduled in advance and open by appointment only. Exact processes for the closed PODs will be determined by each POD manager, based on state and federal guidance. 

Appointment Process for Vaccine
Appointments for closed PODs are required for COVID-19 vaccination to verify eligibility, ensure equity of distribution, and provide time for the standard 15 to 30 minute post vaccination observation period.

Those individuals in Valdez who qualify under Phase 1A and Phase 1B - Tier 1 must sign-up for an appointment using the state's website (covidvax.alaska.gov) or by calling the DHSS Valdez Public Health Clinic at 907.835.4612 during regular business hours. Those in Phase 1A and Phase 1B - Tier 1 will make an appointment for their second doseIMG_0376 of vaccine during their first dose appointment. Both doses must be the same brand of vaccine. The state requests those receiving vaccination arrange their schedule to receive their first and second doses through the same provider/clinic location.

Future Vaccine Distribution
Once vaccine becomes available in greater supply, community members should anticipate public notification and vaccine distribution will mirror the processes used for flu vaccine point of dispensing practiced every fall in Valdez. 

No additional information is available at this time regarding the timeline for future phases beyond Phase 1B - Tier 1. No sign-up or future vaccine reservation option is available at this time to anyone except those eligible under Phase 1A and Phase 1B - Tier 1.

Please note, Alaska’IMG_0349s distribution process and specific phases/tiers do not include military service members or Valdez Native Tribe members. They will be vaccinated separately through a direct federal or Indian Health Service allocation. Timing of eligibility under the direct federal or Indian Health Service allocations may differ from timing of eligibility under the state's phases/tiers.

Logistical Support for Community Partners
The City of Valdez recently purchased specialized refrigeration units designed to support cold and/or frozen storage of the several different types of vaccine currently available or in development. The City also received COVID-19 vaccine storage depot designation from the State of Alaska in the event storage support is needed for community partners or nearby communities in the future.  

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Weekly Vaccine Dashboard 010821

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Volunteers Needed for Valdez COVID-19 Vaccination Point of Dispensing (POD) Clinics

All skill levels welcome!

The following volunteers are needed to help with upcoming Valdez vaccination clinics:

  • Registration Personnel - Help patients complete registration, collect completed paperwork, and check patients out of the clinic once they are finished.
  • General Logistics - Help set-up/pack-up the clinic location, direct patients through the clinic stations, move supplies between stations, and help with monitoring patients post-vaccination.
  • Medically Trained/Licensed Personnel - Help triage patients, administer vaccinations, and monitor patients post-vaccination.

If you are interested in volunteering for an upcoming clinic, please reach out to the Valdez Unified Command volunteer coordinator, Rhea Cragun at rcragun@valdezak.gov or 907.834.3416.

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COVID-19 Vaccine Resources

Many factors related to COVID-19 vaccine distribution remain unknown. Keeping you informed is an important part of the planning process. 

As you explore vaccine options for yourself and your family, we encourage you to seek out credible sources for science based information, such as CDC, DHSS, and your healthcare provider. 

Visit https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/ and http://covidvax.alaska.gov for the latest updates and to view specifics on different types of vaccines.