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Elderly in Anchorage receive COVID-19 vaccine for the first time

Published: Jan. 9, 2021 at 4:58 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) -It’s a day Aisha Barnes has waited for a while.

“We’ve been isolated since March 13 very carefully,” Barnes said, “I would just like to see and hug my family.”

She took a big step to doing that again as she received her COVID-19 vaccination from her friend Jyll Green.

“I want people I love and myself to be safe,” said Barnes.

Barnes is not the only member of her family to receive the vaccine at the Alaska Airlines Center. So did her husband, David Stevenson.

“My uncle died of COVID in April,” Stevenson recalled. “My mother is 90 years-old, and I haven’t seen her in over a year.”

The couple is among those who are at least 65 years old, and eligible for the vaccine for the first time as part of Phase 1B announced earlier in the week by the Department of Health and Social Services.

“The response was so great we felt compelled to hurry and get it open for this weekend,” said Jyll Green of Fairweather Medical Services, which helped administer the vaccinations.

The clinic, organized by DHSS and the Municipality of Anchorage, originally planned the vaccination clinic for next week.

1,800 doses of the vaccines will be distributed at this clinic Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday. You’re out of luck if you have not yet scheduled an appointment. Those completely filled up within a few hours.

But, there’s no reason to panic.

“It’s clear to us we need to have more clinics,” said Tessa Walker Linderman, who co-chairs the Alaska Vaccine Task Force. “As soon as we have more vaccine in the state, we will be working with the Municipality and the Anchorage Health Department to see if we can do additional events like this.”

Aisha Barnes and David Stevenson got their first vaccination Saturday. They will return to the Alaska Airlines Center in three weeks for their second, and final dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.

DHSS reminds you if you’re on a wait list somewhere to get the vaccine, that is where you go to get the shot. More vaccination clinics will take place when more vaccine arrives in Alaska.

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