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Vaccines Begin to Roll-out to Villages; One Case of COVID-19 Detected Over Weekend

The Nome hospital at dusk, viewed from the front, with light streaming through its windows.

Regional health providers report that COVID-19 vaccines are making their way to villages in the Norton Sound region, with health clinic workers in Stebbins and Brevig Mission being among the first to get the shot.

Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) said it has teams flying out to do initial vaccination rounds in each of the 15 communities in its service area. Health consortium spokesperson Reba Lean said village clinic workers, first responders, critical infrastructure workers, and Elders were among the first people vaccinated. In most communities, Lean said that’s about 10% of a village’s population.

Winter storms were battering down most of the Seward Peninsula and Eastern Norton Sound on Tuesday. But weather permitting, NSHC said it plans to do initial vaccinations in each village over the next week and a half.

NSHC received their first doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Wednesday. By Monday morning, officials said almost 300 hospital staff, Elders, and first responders had received their first dose of the vaccine.

The health consortium announced that on Monday they received an additional 400 doses of the Moderna vaccine.

As vaccinations progress, COVID-19 still remains active in Nome. One new case of COVID-19 was identified in a Nome resident on Sunday. That person was a close contact of a previously confirmed case. There are now reportedly 13 active cases of COVID-19 in Nome and no cases in any of the region’s villages.

Image at top: Nome’s Norton Sound Regional Hospital. Photo: Laura Kraegel, KNOM.

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