Juneau officials are planning the vaccine rollout for when younger children become eligible

Update | 11:25 a.m. Wednesday

Juneau Airport COVID-19 test
A public health worker in a tent outside Juneau International Airport bags a freshly collected nasal swab for COVID-19 testing on Sept. 1, 2020. (Jeremy Hsieh/KTOO)

About 2,100 more people in Juneau need to be fully vaccinated to hit 70%. That’s the target city officials have set to further relax community restrictions intended to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Of them, about 1,200 have already had their first of two doses in their vaccine series.

Anyone age 12 or older is eligible to get vaccinated. Vaccines are widely available through local health care providers, pharmacies, pop-up clinics — even at the airport.

So far, the two-dose Pfizer vaccine is the only option for kids age 12 or older. To be considered fully vaccinated by Juneau’s first day of school on Aug. 16, a child would need their first dose by next Monday.

This year, the Juneau School District plans to reopen schools for in-person instruction five days a week, with health precautions like masks and extra space. District officials are not requiring vaccines for students who are eligible to get them. The Juneau School Board plans to revisit its COVID-19 policies at its Aug. 10 meeting.

During a community update on Tuesday, Emergency Planning Chief Robert Barr said officials are working on what to do when younger children become eligible for vaccination. Barr said clinical trials are ongoing, but he’s planning as if younger children will become eligible in or around November.

“That’s a squishy projection right now,” Barr said. “And we are working on planning for what that might look like. … For any mass vaccination efforts, or coordinating with pediatricians’ offices and schools and what have you as that becomes a reality into the fall or winter.”

Deputy City Manager Mila Cosgrove also encouraged certain people who are unvaccinated to get tested for COVID-19 weekly. Specifically,

  • unvaccinated kids participating in summer camps and other group activities,
  • unvaccinated people who work with youths, and
  • unvaccinated people who regularly interact with tourists.

Cosgrove said the city began offering this regular screening option in June.

“Overall, I’d say it’s roughly 50-ish, maybe a little north of there, a week, taking advantage of that screening,” she said. “It is at no cost.”

Insurers may be billed. Otherwise, federal money will cover the cost.

“Let’s all keep our COVID-mitigation mind in place until we’re officially through this, which I think is coming, relatively soon,” Cosgrove said.

Cosgrove said in a memo on Friday that the city is scaling back the frequency of some of its COVID-19 communications. Beginning this week, the city’s COVID-19 dashboard will only be updated three days a week. Cosgrove’s three-times-a-week COVID-19 memos will become weekly.

As of Tuesday, city officials knew of nine people in Juneau with active cases. Three of them are nonresidents. None are hospitalized.

Original story | 3:29 p.m. Tuesday

Juneau officials will discuss the community’s latest COVID-19 developments during an update at 4 p.m. today over Zoom.

You can watch here, on the city’s Facebook page, or listen by calling 1-253-215-8782 or 1-346-248-7799 with the webinar ID 985 6308 5159. The public can ask questions in advance by emailing COVIDquestions@juneau.org.

In a memo on Friday, Deputy City Manager Mila Cosgrove said the Emergency Operations Center is scaling back the frequency of some of its communications. Beginning this week, the city’s COVID-19 dashboard data will only be updated three days a week. Cosgrove’s three-times-a-week COVID-19 memos will become weekly.

As of this afternoon, city officials knew of nine people in Juneau with active cases, of whom three are nonresidents. None are hospitalized.

Juneau’s overall vaccination numbers remain a few percentage points shy of the 70% target city officials have set to further relax community restrictions intended to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. About 2,100 more people need to be fully vaccinated to hit the goal. That includes about 1,200 people who have had their first of two doses in their series.

Anyone age 12 or older is eligible to get vaccinated. Vaccines are widely available through local health care providers, pharmacies and pop-up clinics. Eligible patients can also walk in and get a COVID-19 vaccine at the Juneau International Airport seven days a week from 12:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

So far, the two-dose Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is the only option for kids age 12 or older. To be considered fully vaccinated by Juneau’s first day of school on Aug. 16, a child would need their first dose by next Monday.

Jeremy Hsieh

Local News Reporter, KTOO

I dig into questions about the forces and institutions that shape Juneau, big and small, delightful and outrageous. What stirs you up about how Juneau is built and how the city works?

Read next

Site notifications
Update notification options
Subscribe to notifications