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COVID-19 vaccine could arrive in Juneau next week

December 10, 2020 – News

Juneau’s first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine is expected to arrive as early as next week, pending authorization by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. If approved, the first shipment from the State of Alaska to Juneau will be 975 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine, and they’ll go to frontline healthcare workers, first responders, and long-term care facility residents and staff. A safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is an important tool for ending the global pandemic.

The Juneau COVID-19 Vaccine Task Force is organizing the distribution of the vaccine ​in collaboration with the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. That group is comprised of the Alaska Division of Public Health, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Southeast Alaska Regional Health Consortium, Central Council of the Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Capital City Fire/Rescue, and City and Borough of Juneau.

Pfizer’s two-dose COVID-19 Vaccine is currently awaiting approval by the Food and Drug Administration for emergency use. The FDA authorizes vaccines after they pass three phases of clinical trials. Clinical trials, which require thousands of people and months of data, test the COVID-19 vaccine’s effectiveness. Learn more about FDA’s Emergency Use Authorization authority and watch a video on what an EUA is.

If approved, the vaccine will be shipped on dry ice to Juneau and stored locally in ultra-cold deep freezers. Once it arrives, it will need to be administered by injection within five days of removal from the freezer. Pfizer’s COVID-19 Vaccine involves two shots given 3 weeks apart. The first shipment will be used for the first dose. Regular shipments of vaccines are expected to continue throughout 2021.

For more information on the COVID-19 vaccine, go to the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services website covidvax.alaska.gov.