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First Doses of COVID-19 Vaccine Limited in Norton Sound, New Vaccinations on Hold

A syringe with the needle inside a vaccine bottle

Initial sign-ups for the COVID-19 vaccine in Nome are being temporarily halted to prioritize patients who need their second dose of the two-part vaccine. The regional health corporation says their local supply of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine is “limited”.

Norton Sound Health Corporation (NSHC) announced last night that they are temporarily suspending first doses of the vaccine for Elders along with a limited list of essential workers. NSHC Spokesperson Reba Lean says supplies are limited and need to be saved for patients who have already received the first dose.

“There’s no risk at this time of anybody missing their second dose.”

-Reba Lean

NSHC hopes to have more supplies of the Pfizer vaccine next week. The expected number of doses in that shipment is unknown.

Meanwhile, stocks of the Moderna vaccine in the Norton Sound are also being rationed. Lean said first rounds of that vaccine have been distributed in all fifteen of the villages serviced by NSHC around the Norton Sound.

“We’ve had a set amount of vaccine going out to each community, and we have been successful and using that up on each trip. So we expect more Moderna vaccine soon, but our first round of that has already gone out.”

– Reba Lean

That first round should have prioritized Elders over 65 and frontline medical workers in each village. In most villages, Lean says those groups have made up close to ten percent of each community.

NSHC says they will make announcements for each community when they are able to give out second doses in the region.

All patients in Nome who have already received their first dose can sign up for their second dose of the Pfizer vaccine here: https://www.picktime.com/NSHC?fbclid=IwAR3731X_bZ4tZt9Jk71u2Nx2UEyBz8wMP3mprK-GF4c9NgMJA9Hum3BA5D4.

Image at top: A syringe and vaccine photo by NIAID. Via public domain, licensed under CC BY 2.0

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