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More Alaskans will be eligible for the coronavirus vaccine, starting tomorrow.

The state announced today it’s opening eligibility to frontline essential workers 50 and older, including grocery store employees and mail carriers, and people who live and work in congregate settings, like correctional facilities and group homes. Adults 50 and older with high-risk medical conditions are also included in this group and teachers of any age. That’s a new addition to the tier.

When the coronavirus vaccine first became available to Alaskans 65 and up, there was a mad dash for appointments.

Susie Smalley, of Kenai, had the state’s website to book appointments open on the first day. It was a bit hectic.

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Providers with the Kenaitze Indian Tribe have opened up COVID-19 vaccinations to all Indian Health Service beneficiaries 16 and older.

As of Wednesday night, a small team of medical staff at the Dena’ina Wellness Center in Kenai had vaccinated 427 people, said Sheilah Kean, a registered nurse and primary care practice manager with the tribe.

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For the more than 800 Alaskans who were vaccinated at Kenai Peninsula clinics this weekend, months of fear and anxiety about the coronavirus culminated in a moment’s breath.

“Now if you could just take a big deep breath through your nose," said Registered Nurse Tracy Silta as she administered the COVID-19 vaccine to Anne Browning Saturday at Soldotna Prep.

"Let it out. Perfect.”

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The Kenai Peninsula Borough is opening a call center to help seniors register for their doses of the coronavirus vaccine.

Starting tomorrow, those eligible for the vaccine can call in to add their names to a waiting list. That’s for seniors who have had trouble navigating the online system on their own, according to the borough.

Vaccine registration has been a fraught process for some Alaskans so far.