First doses of coronavirus vaccine reach peninsula

Dec 16, 2020

Central Peninsula Hospital received its first batch of the coronavirus vaccine Wednesday afternoon. The 975 doses in that delivery will be divvied up between the hospital, Soldotna Professional Pharmacy and Nikiski Fire Department.
Credit Sabine Poux/KDLL

If it weren't for the Anchorage Messenger Service decal on the hood, you wouldn’t guess the Toyota Sienna minivan in front of Central Peninsula Hospital was carrying hundreds of doses of coronavirus vaccine.

The delivery of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine arrived in Soldotna a little after 3 p.m. Wednesday, a day earlier than expected. Shipments reached many corners of Alaska today, from Kotzebue to Wrangell

As soon as the van pulled up, CPH Pharmacy Technician Jessica Hulet loaded two boxes from the trunk onto a cart and wheeled it into the building.  The hospital will keep the vaccine in the hospital pharmacy until it starts vaccinating employees Friday morning.

Some of the 975 doses from this delivery are also going to Soldotna Professional Pharmacy and the Nikiski Fire Department. Vaccines from this round will be distributed to hospital workers, residents of long-term facilities and some first responders.

Ronald Lyon, the AMS courier who drove the van, came straight from Anchorage. After CPH, he was headed to meet another courier who would bring the remaining doses down to Homer. 

Lyon does this route three times a week. But he says he drove extra carefully today.