All 1,250 appointments for this weekend’s COVID-19 vaccinations at the Carlson Center opened and were filled in about an hour on Wednesday, the local health officials said.
Dr. Mark Simon from Foundation Health Partners said that even though the officials would love to give the vaccine to everyone who wants it, the supply stays limited.
“We had 1,250 immunizations available, and we spread that out across two days, to be able to vaccinate 625 people each day,” he said.
Lanien Livingston, the coordinator for the Interior Alaska Unified Command, said that this is just the first clinic in Fairbanks, and as more vaccines arrive in February, there will be more vaccinations.
Meanwhile, officials are getting the Carlson Center ready for the weekend vaccinations.
Then people will come inside, check in for the appointments and move to the main room to receive their Moderna vaccine and to stay under observation for 15-30 minutes. While they are inside, they will also schedule their appointment for the second dose.
Eight tables will provide the vaccinations, and the paramedics team will monitor any sort of reactions to the vaccine.
The center was chosen as a space for vaccinations because it is big enough to allow people spread out, Simon said.
“When vaccinations first started and clinics started doing it and got their process down, it became quickly apparent that In order to scale that to the entire community, we needed a more efficient process to do that and that’s when the decision was made to find a bigger space.”
Officials are expecting 25 volunteers on Friday to help make sure people are flowing and moving, help answer questions and make sure that seniors feel comfortable and know their privacy is protected.
“We know that it can be stressful for our elders to come into a large public place like this where they normally might come to Carlson Center for a hockey game or some other event, but now they are coming for a health appointment,” Livingston said, adding that this is why they want seniors to know what to expect. “This is a health clinic, and maintaining privacy is extremely important.”
Contact staff writer Alena Naiden at 459-7587. Follow her at twitter.com/FDNMlocal.