First COVID-19 Vaccines Given to MOA Fontline Healthcare Personnel
The Municipality of Anchorage received the first doses of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination from the State of Alaska on December 15. The receipt of vaccine is the culmination of months of planning from the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and Anchorage Health Department (AHD).
There is a limited amount of vaccine available at this time. Vaccine distribution will happen in phases based on recommendations set by the Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Advisory Committee and by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP).
For municipal staff, the current vaccine allocation is first available to individuals who are required to perform vaccinations, including AHD public health nurses and Anchorage School District nurses, and EMS and fire personnel providing medical services.
“The availability of COVID-19 vaccine, although limited, is an incredibly exciting step in the response to this pandemic,” says AHD Director Heather Harris. “While we must continue to stay vigilant, we know hope is on the horizon.”
Throughout the COVID-19 vaccination effort, the EOC is providing logistical and administrative support and AHD is serving as the ordering provider for the vaccine and providing nursing staff to administer the vaccine.
Planning was put to into action this week as nurses were trained, mobile strike teams and a static clinic were activated, patient information and vaccine tracking software was set up, and vaccine appointments were created.
Anchorage was the first jurisdiction in the state to implement PrepMod, a HIPAA-compliant online system for COVID-19 vaccine scheduling and recording.
“We have been working diligently over the past months to ensure we are ready to give this vaccine when it is available. We are excited to be at the forefront of vaccine delivery in Alaska,” says Robert Doehl, incident commander for the Anchorage Emergency Operations Center.
AHD nurses are administering the COVID-19 vaccine. All willing EMS and fire personnel will have received both doses of vaccine by late January.
For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, visit muni.org/COVID-19 and covidvax.alaska.gov.
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