Alaska will obtain a particular first cargo of the brand new COVID-19 vaccine manufactured by drug firm Pfizer that shall be sufficient to guard greater than 5% of the state’s inhabitants, well being officers mentioned Monday.
The cargo of 35,100 doses might arrive subsequent week and be administered beginning quickly after, pending required federal approvals, officers from the Alaska Division of Well being and Social Companies mentioned at a media briefing Monday.
“If this moves quickly, we could potentially be vaccinating by the end of next week,” mentioned Tessa Walker Linderman, a prime state vaccination official. “We’re happy about the amount we received and we’ll be ready for more as it comes.”
One other cargo of 17,900 doses of a distinct vaccine produced by drug firm Moderna is predicted quickly after.
The state is prioritizing the primary batch of vaccines for frontline well being care staff, together with residents of long-term care amenities like nursing houses who’ve suffered a disproportionately excessive variety of deaths through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Emergency responders who’re offering medical care are additionally included in “Phase 1a” of the vaccine distribution, state officers mentioned on the media briefing. There are roughly 25,000 folks in these teams, Walker Linderman mentioned.
In contrast to different states, that are receiving their first vaccine shipments in weekly batches, the federal authorities is treating Alaska like a territory and delivery its first month’s provide , Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink mentioned.
That’s partially due to Alaska’s sprawling measurement and the logistical challenges of transferring the Pfizer vaccine, which should be saved at minus 95 F and solely lasts for 5 days in a fridge as soon as thawed.
This can be a breaking information story — examine again for updates.