780 AM | 96.1 FM 

“YOURS FOR WESTERN ALASKA”

(907) 443-5221

Vaccine Moves Through Region At Record Pace

A healthcare worker administering the Covid vaccine to a patient..
COVID-19 vaccines being administered in Savoonga. Photo from Sophia DeSalvo, KNOM (2021)

By mid-January, more than a third of people in the Bering Strait region – including most of the KNOM staff in Nome – had received the first round of the coronavirus vaccine.

In rural Alaska, healthcare workers with vaccines traveled by small planes, snowmachines, boats, and sleds to reach villagers. The hospital’s vaccine dashboard showed that by mid-January 2,748 people had received the first dose of vaccine, and 612 people had received both doses.

Emily Hofstaedter, KNOM news reporter, gets her first dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Due to differences in the state and tribal vaccination programs, the region’s vaccination numbers are far ahead of the rest of the state. In turn, Alaska has so far vaccinated people faster than most other states.

The Norton Sound region was thankfully spared the worst of the pandemic, unlike the neighboring Yukon-Kuskokwim region where the infection and death rate was much higher.

The vaccine rollout has meant a great deal in rural Alaska, perhaps even more so than in other places. Pandemic restrictions damaged many of the social connections villagers depend on for survival. Many are eager to get back to the community rhythm of hunting and gathering food, dancing, potlucks, and socializing at school and church functions.

Image at top: Savoonga resident Michael Toolie gets a vaccine from Physician Assistant Steve Albrich. KNOM was able to accompany a hospital representative to Savoonga to report on vaccinations. Photo by Sophia DeSalvo, KNOM (2021).

Share this story

Facebook
Twitter
LinkedIn
Email

Recent Posts

Chum salmon. Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Weak Salmon Runs Expected in 2024 for Norton Sound

The Alaska Department of Fish and Game (ADF&G) has released their 2024 Norton Sound Salmon Management Outlook. The report details expectations for salmon runs in the Norton Sound and Port Clarence districts, including management strategies to ensure sustainable fishing practices. Salmon Run Projections The ADF&G projects varied outcomes for different

Read More »

Nome Honors Fallen Heroes with Annual Memorial Day Celebration

Hundreds of residents gathered along Front Street Monday morning for Nome’s annual Memorial Day Parade. Spectators braved wind chills below 20 degrees to pay their respects to the men and women who lost their lives in service to their country. Escorted by the Nome Police Department, a color guard and

Read More »

May 23: Rick Thoman’s Climate Highlight for Western Alaska

The following is a transcript from Rick Thoman’s weekly “Climate Highlight for Western Alaska” provided to KNOM Radio. Thoman is a Climate Specialist with the Alaska Center for Climate Assessment and Policy at the University of Alaska Fairbanks. NOAA recently issued the 2024 Hurricane Outlook for the Atlantic and eastern

Read More »

More

Newsletter:

Work for Us:

Jobs

Contact

Nome:

(907) 443-5221 

Anchorage:

(907) 868-1200 

Land Acknowledgement

We acknowledge that KNOM Radio Mission is located on the customary lands of Indigenous peoples. 

Based in the Bering Strait region, KNOM broadcasts throughout the homelands of the Iñupiaq, Siberian Yup’ik, Cup’ik and Yup’ik peoples.