EASTERN ALEUTIAN TRIBES

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

State health officials have asked Alaska vaccine providers to follow federal recommendations to pause use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines due to a clotting risk. More than 7 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine have been administered across the U.S., but a handful of women have gotten a blood clot afterward, prompting the pause.

Maggie Nelson/KUCB

Despite difficulties with getting access to COVID-19 vaccines earlier in the year, roughly 1,800 people in Unalaska were vaccinated at a mass vaccination clinic on Thursday. 

Eastern Aleutian Tribes (EAT) partnered with the local Iliuliuk Family and Health Services (IFHS) clinic to provide vaccines for anyone on the island, 16 and older.

Hope McKenney/KUCB

One of the most remote regions in Alaska is the Aleutian Islands. And for the most part, communities along the island chain have done well throughout the pandemic, recording relatively few cases outside of seafood processing plants.

But as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available across the state and country, health care providers are grappling with the logistical challenges of distributing vaccines to the region's windswept communities. 

City of Sand Point

The Sand Point Post Office has been closed temporarily after a postal worker tested positive for COVID-19 on Tuesday. This is the fourth confirmed case in the 950-person island community, after three residents tested positive for the virus in late September and October.

Upon receiving the positive test result, the unnamed individual was placed in isolation, according to Eastern Aleutian Tribes, which operates the Sand Point Medical Clinic.

City of Cold Bay

Officials reported six positive cases of COVID-19 in Cold Bay on Saturday. Because the individuals are residents of the Alaska Peninsula village, the state will report them as positive cases for the Aleutians East Borough, according to Eastern Aleutian Tribes.

The regional tribal healthcare provider said in a statement that upon receiving the positive test results, the unnamed individuals were placed in isolation.

The healthcare provider is working with city and state officials to ensure precautions are taken to protect anyone who may have been exposed to the coronavirus.

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