The Fairbanks Regional Public Health Center and Fairbanks Memorial Hospital are getting a lot of calls from medical providers who want to be vaccinated for COVID-19. There is not much of the medicine available yet, so the state is distributing COVID-19 vaccines in Phases. And each Phase has been divided into smaller chunks called Tiers.
Today we are still in Phase 1A, and are steadily getting through Tier 1 and Tier 2.
But as of noon today, the medical providers who are in Phase 1A Tier 3 can sign up for a January appointment.
Regional Nurse Manager Elizabeth Burton says Tier 3 is still a narrowly-defined group of health care workers who meet three criteria:
“Need to have direct patient contact, or have direct contact with infectious materials. The employee would also have to provide essential services in the healthcare setting, that can’t be offered remotely, or performed by a telework agreement. And the third thing is they must provide a service in the healthcare setting that can’t be post pond, without detrimental impact to the persons healthcare outcomes.”
The website COVIDvax.Alaska.gov will go live at noon today with a map of all the providers who have been issued vaccine doses. Anyone eligible for Tier 3 can click on the map to begin signing up.
“There are maybe five providers in the area right now, who expect to receive vaccine in the next few days and set up clinics for next week.”
Burton says the Public Health Center is one of those, and will set up its clinic at the Carlson Center starting Wednesday, a week from today. Burton says there will be 1,200 - 1,300 doses of the Moderna vaccine to distribute in Fairbanks next week.
The medicine is very persnickity, and requires special handling so it does not spoil, so vaccinators will only be preparing enough to cover folks with appointments.
Burton says Tier 3 eligible folks in Tok and Delta Junction can find a vaccinator on the website.
And the state is still recruiting pharmacists and other medical folks to be vaccinators. Burton says another batch of vaccine for Phase 1 is coming to Alaska, meaning the Tier 3 folks can get to it faster.
“So, we’re trying to get the word out to other providers that would like to get give vaccine to their staff,. More vaccine will be coming to Alaska and there will be additional clinics starting the following week. The week of January 11.”
Burton says as soon as folks in Phase 1A are vaccinated in January, the state will move to Phase 1B. All the details are on the website http://covidvax.alaska.gov .
TIER 3 WHO IS ELIGIBLE?
Health care workers must meet all of the following criteria:
- Have direct patient contact, or have direct contact with infectious materials from patients; and,
- Provide essential services in a health care setting that cannot be offered remotely or performed via telework; and,
- Provide a service in a health care setting that cannot be postponed without detrimental impact to the patient’s short-term or long-term health outcomes.
- This applies to licensed, certified, and other workers in health care settings in the State of Alaska, who meet the above criteria. This includes direct support professionals who provide personal care or home and community-based services, laboratory technicians, phlebotomists, and workers performing COVID testing.