Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Update

COVID Vaccine


December 7, 2020

Dear Partners and Stakeholders:

COVID-19 vaccine is a rapidly changing topic, and we can expect further developments as we approach distribution of vaccine in our state.


December 1:

The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP) released recommendations for groups to be vaccinated in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program. The first phase of vaccination, referred to as Phase 1A by planners, will focus on health care personnel serving patients with either confirmed or suspected COVID-19, along with staff and residents of long-term care facilities. 

December 3:

  • The Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Committee met to review ACIP recommendations. The committee unanimously determined a portion of the groups to be included in Phase 1A:
    • Hospital-based front-line healthcare workers at highest risk for COVID-19 infection;
    • Long-term care facility residents and staff;
    • EMS/fire personnel providing emergency medical services;
    • Community Health Aides/ Practitioners (CHA/Ps); and
    • Individuals who are required to perform vaccinations 
  • Alaska successfully received the test shipment, ensuring that actual vaccine could be shipped and received appropriately.

December 4:

According to current federal government estimates, Alaska’s initial allocations of vaccines could include: 

  • Pfizer: 35,100 doses
  • Moderna: 17,900 doses

These vaccine doses will be distributed statewide among public, private, and Tribal health systems. Alaska’s distribution process will not include military service members, who will be vaccinated separately through a federal allocation.

December 10:

The FDA is scheduled to meet and review Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine application for Emergency Use Authorization. The Alaska COVID-19 Allocation Committee plans to meet to identify additional groups for incorporation into Phase 1A. 

December 17:

The FDA is scheduled to meet and review Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine application for Emergency Use Authorization.

Mid December:

Pfizer vaccine shipments arrive in Alaska, pending FDA authorization

Mid-End December:

Moderna vaccine shipments arrive in Alaska, pending FDA authorization

For Healthcare Providers:

Addressing Alaska Healthcare Stakeholders about COVID-19 Vaccine
Jay Butler, MD, CDC Deputy Director for Infectious Diseases

(former Commissioner and Chief Medical Officer at Alaska’s Department of Health and Social Services) provided an update on COVID-19 vaccine development, distribution, and clinical use on December 2, 2020.

COVID Vaccine

For Employers:

While your employees or workforce may not be identified to receive the vaccine initially, it is important to prepare now for when it is more widely available.

Organizational planning

  • Organizations may choose between becoming an enrolled provider, directing their employees to an enrolled provider, or hosting a point of dispensing (POD).

POD Planning

  • Several communities and organizations have already exercised their POD with their flu vaccine. It is important to use this time to identify any changes or improvements in order to implement a POD for a COVID-19 vaccine. Details matter.
  • When reviewing your POD plan, remember to prepare for several different scenarios such as:
    • Less than or more than the expected doses of vaccine arrive
    • Inclement weather
    • Appointment no-shows

Information on POD planning can be found here: POD training slides are available here.

Staff Engagement Planning

  • The COVID‐19 Communication and Education Workgroup are active on social media and preparing materials for community partners. The following materials are found under Information for Healthcare Workers:   
    • Written messages for COVID‐19 vaccine conversations
    • Materials and signage to promote Point of Dispensing (POD) clinics
  • Make sure any staff identified to receive a vaccine know who they are and have agreed to be vaccinated.
  • Provide resources to your staff about COVID-19 vaccines so they can make an informed decision on vaccination.
  • Have a plan for vaccine prioritization: Who will receive a vaccine if you are allocated less doses than requested.

Public Education Resources

New CDC webpages:


COVID‐19 Vaccine ECHO: Every Thursday at 2:00 pm.

State of Alaska COVID‐19 Vaccine Update Weekly eNewsletter: To receive this useful email newsletter contact Desiree Chambers or Cheley Grigsby directly.

State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services,
Division of Public Health

Desiree Chambers, Liaison Team

Cheley Grigsby, Liaison Team