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YKHC expects latest COVID-19 booster shots will be available next week

Greg Kim
The latest booster shots will be available at the YKHC wellness center.

The Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation (YKHC) expects to begin administering COVID-19 booster shots starting Sept. 13. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that this round of booster shots is better equipped to protect against more recent variants of the coronavirus.

People 12 and older who have received their last dose of the vaccine more than two months ago are eligible for the shots. However, the CDC says that people who recently had COVID-19 can consider delaying getting a booster shot for three months after infection. Alaska’s chief medical officer, Dr. Anne Zink, told Alaska Public Media that doing that can prolong immunity.

YKHC expects to receive a shipment of the Pfizer vaccine on Sept. 9, and is still waiting for confirmation on a shipment of Moderna booster shots. Pending its arrival, YKHC plans to make the shots available in Bethel starting Sept. 13. In villages, residents can call their local clinic to get on the list for a booster once it’s available. YKHC expects to begin distributing the vaccine to villages by mid-September.

The CDC says that these shots will add protection by targeting recent, more transmissible variants and will help “restore protection that has waned since previous vaccination.”

The Alaska Department of Health reports that there have been more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in the state since the beginning of the month.

Bethel residents can make an appointment to get a booster shot at the Wellness Center at YKHC by calling 907-543-6949. Appointments are available Monday through Friday between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., and Saturday between 2:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. Pfizer booster shots will be offered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Moderna booster shots will be offered Tuesday and Thursday. Both types will be available on Saturdays.

Nina is a temporary news reporter at KYUK. She comes to Bethel from NPR, where she's a producer at Morning Edition.
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