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Push is on to get more Alaska residents vaccinated

The city would like to see more Anchorage residents vaccinated.
The city would like to see more Anchorage residents vaccinated.(Robert DeBerry | Robert DeBerry)
Published: Apr. 22, 2021 at 7:23 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Anchorage health officials say there’s plenty of COVID-19 vaccine for people who want it. Their biggest challenge now is getting more people to say “yes”.

By Thursday afternoon, close to 48% of Anchorage residents had been fully vaccinated, including those at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, according to data on the city’s webpage. Anchorage Acting Mayor Austin Quinn-Davidson said the goal is to get to 70% before the latest emergency orders can be lifted.

One way to do that is by reaching out to different communities. On Thursday, the nonprofit Conquer COVID Coalition helped to coordinate a vaccine clinic at New Hope Baptist Church in Mountain View. Attendance was slow. Pastor Wilbert Mickens said most of the people in his congregation were already vaccinated, but others in the community may be waiting to see how vaccinated people fare before getting the shots themselves.

“I’m predicting we’ll have more, a lot more getting vaccinated a little later,” he said.

The Municipal Health Department and Emergency Operations Center are also getting ready for a big vaccine push, according to spokesperson Chelsea Ward-Waller. Ward-Waller said the first week of May has been designated as “Vaccine Week”. She said, among other things, there will be plenty of new pop-up clinics in different parts of town.

“And we are also making sure we have them at convenient times, so not just at the standard 9-5 — have them earlier in the morning and later in the evening and on the weekends,” she said. “So we are just doing everything that we can to make sure folks can get vaccine and the convenience factor isn’t a barrier.”

Ward-Waller said several of the city’s biggest vaccine sites are now offering shots with no appointments necessary including:

Dimond Center Mall (daily 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. from May 1 -9)

Dempsey-Andersen drive-through (weekends 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and weekdays 2-8 p.m.)

Northway Mall drive-through (Saturday-Monday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.)

Blood Bank of Alaska (weekdays noon to 8 p.m.)

Shiloh Baptist Church (Monday-Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

Alaska Airlines Center (starting May 1, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays 8 a.m. to noon)

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