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'Sleeves Up For Summer' Pops Up

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The state Division of Public Health and other medical partners have been peppering the Fairbanks and North Pole area with free pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinics.

In the last week or so, there were short-term events at the Noel Wein Library, the J.P. Jones Center, the Farmers Market, and the Home Show. Last Thursday afternoon at Catholic Schools of Fairbanks, and last Saturday afternoon at Ester Community Park. Some were for everyone over 12, but there was a just-for-teens event for youths aged 12-15 years old to get the Pfizer vaccine last Saturday at Tanana Valley Clinic. Tanana Chiefs Conference held a day-long clinic last Saturday.

Fairbanks Cancer Care Physicians has been volunteering a vaccine team at some of the pop-up clinics. Dr. Andrew Cox joined a Zoom call from Hoo Doo brewery, where there they were hosting vaccinations on the patio.

“At FCCP we’re going to keep our regular Mondays from 6:00 to 8:00, at least until the end of June and we’ll see what happens after that. Cindy and I did a little recon at the Home Show, just anticipating A Woman’s Affair, June 12 and 13th.”?

A lot of this is part of the “Sleeves up for Summer” campaign. Dr. Mark Simon of the Emergency Department at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital, says they have posted information for anyone who would like to set up a pop-up clinic on many partner websites such as Fairbanks North Star Borough and Tanana Chiefs Conference. The campaign now has its own Facebook page.

We’re getting between 50 and 70 people a day that are showing up to get vaccinated. It’s nice to meet people where they are more comfortable or convenient.”

Simon says Capstone Family Medicine has contracted with the State of Alaska to take over a lot of vaccination clinics and will be running the weekly mass clinic at the Carlson Center.

Elizabeth Burton, Regional Nurse Manager with the state Division of Public Health says people can make appointments or just walk in.

“As we continue with the Carlson Center on Tuesdays, that’s going to be every week from 9 to 5, at least through the end of June. And then we’re going to be adding a drive through clinic at the pioneer park beginning on May 27. And that will be every Thursday, a drive-through event from 4 to 8 PM. What could be easier? Don’t even have to get out of the car.”

Starting Thursday, May 27, there will be weekly drive-through clinics at Fairbanks North Star Borough Pioneer Park on Airport Way, from   4 – 8 p.m.

This Friday evening, May 28: Regal Cinema on Airport Way will host a “vaccine and a movie” clinic from 5 – 9 p.m.

Later this month there are clinics planned for the A Women’s Affair trade show at the Fairgrounds June 12 and 13, Midnight Sun Festival downtown on June 19 and the Folk festival June 26. As of Friday, 47.9% of Alaskans 16 and older have been fully vaccinated. About 40.8% of the Fairbanks North Star Borough has.

The Vaccine Helpline is 907-646-3322 (or toll free 1-833-4-VAXLINE.) The website is http://covidvax.alaska.gov.

For any business, church, activity group or community event who would like to host a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine clinic in Fairbanks:
There are two requirements to host a clinic:
1) The host must provide at least one employee or volunteer to assist at the event.
2) Have commitments from at least 10 people who wish to be vaccinated.

Fairbanks Public Health would like interested organizations to fill out a form or contact them 907-452-1776 to schedule a clinic and vaccinators will come to you.