YKHC Taking Personal Approach To Get Remaining Half Of Y-K Vaccinated

Mar 4, 2021

YKHC staff unpacks vials of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine on Dec. 16, 2020 in Bethel, Alaska.
Credit Katie Basile / KYUK

Nearly half the people who are eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta have done so. The Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation is working to get all the eligible population vaccinated and is taking a personal approach to get there.

If you have not gotten a COVID-19 vaccine, then YKHC wants to talk with you, answer your questions, and find the best way to get the vaccine to you.

“I love talking about vaccines, and I’ve learned more about vaccines and virology in the past few weeks than I probably ever knew before,” said YKHC Chief of Staff Dr. Ellen Hodges. She has been answering a lot of questions about vaccines lately, and she said that you can get answers to your questions by calling YKHC’s COVID-19 Hotline at 907-543-6947.

If you don’t call them, someone from YKHC might call you. Members of the contact tracing team are reaching out to people.

“Especially those who are at high risk who have not been vaccinated, doing some real one-on-one education,” Hodges said.

The vaccine has been available to the general population in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta since mid-January. People eager to get the vaccine have mostly done so. To get everyone else vaccinated, the health corporation is changing tactics.

“We want to remove as many barriers as we can to get vaccinated," Hodges said, "and encourage as many people as we possibly can to get vaccinated.”

To do that, YKHC is offering vaccinations outside village health clinics and the Bethel hospital. Medical staff are making vaccination house calls and offering vaccinations in Bethel grocery stores, no appointment needed.

Across the region, 48.2% of the eligible population, aged 16 and older, has received at least one dose of the vaccine. That’s 9,551 people. The percentage of the region's total population that’s received one dose is 33.5%. The number of fully vaccinated people is 7,273. Hodges is especially urging vaccination before more contagious variants of the virus are detected in the region. Already the variants first detected in Brazil and the U.K. have been found in Anchorage.

“The best defense against those variants is to get vaccinated,” Hodges said.

To request a COVID-19 vaccine from YKHC, follow this link: