Bethel Family Clinic Offering COVID-19 Vaccine Booster Shots
There are two places in Bethel to get a COVID-19 vaccine booster. In addition to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Bethel Family Clinic is also offering vaccine booster shots.
Medical director Debra Cyphert said that Bethel Family Clinic began offering boosters of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to immunocompromised individuals on Aug. 20.
Bethel Family Clinic is expanding access to the vaccine booster based on new federal guidelines. On Sept. 22, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorized booster shots of the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine for people at high risk for COVID-19. That includes everyone 65 years or older, people with underlying health conditions, and people working in jobs that expose them to the public. The FDA is requiring that people have received their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least six months before receiving a booster.
Cyphert said that Bethel Family Clinic updated its policy on booster shots on Sept. 27 to reflect the FDA’s new guidelines. YKHC is following the same federal policy, but is also offering booster shots to any Alaska Native person 18 or older. YKHC cited studies that show Alaska Natives are hospitalized for COVID-19 at a disproportionately high rate. Cyphert said that Bethel Family Clinic will not be opening up booster eligibility to all Alaska Natives. However, she said that the clinic would be taking people at their word if they say they have underlying health conditions or work in a job that exposes them to the virus.
To schedule an appointment to receive a COVID-19 booster shot at Bethel Family Clinic, you can call 907-543-3773. To get a vaccine booster with YKHC, you can sign up on the health corporation’s website, or make an appointment over the phone by calling your village health clinic. In Bethel, you can call YKHC at 907-543-6949.