KNBA - KBC

vaccine

Nearly 5,000 people in the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta have received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and almost a fifth of those people have also received their second dose. That makes more people in the region who have received at least one dose of the vaccine than have tested positive for the virus. Across the region, 4,248 people have tested positive for COVID-19 as of Jan. 20, according to the Yukon-Kuskokwim Health Corporation.

In the tiny Yukon River village of Beaver, First Chief Rhonda Pitka has faced dilemma after dilemma this year.

COVID-19 has forced travel restrictions, and closures of the school and offices. Cultural events like potlaches, funerals and an Indigenous language institute were canceled, too.

“Our people have sacrificed so much to keep each other safe,” Pitka said.

In rural Alaska, COVID-19 vaccines hitch a ride on planes, sleds and water taxi

Jan 11, 2021

One of the biggest challenges for distributing the COVID-19 vaccine from drug companies Pfizer and BioNTech is keeping it cold.

But Dr. Ellen Hodges, contending with sub-zero temperatures on a remote Southwest Alaska airport tarmac last month, had the opposite problem as she prepared to vaccinate frontline health-care workers.

“It became immediately apparent that the vaccine was going to freeze in the metal part of the needle,” she said. “It was just kind of wild.”

Kuskokwim River villagers warn fisheries managers of talk about armed conflict and civil disobedience over closures that are leaving fish racks and freezers empty during the normally busy fishing season. Managers say biology, not protests, will decide when fisheries will be opened, and their count shows promising numbers of salmon are returning to spawn. An opening may come as early as this weekend.

A tribal administrator in Eastern Interior Alaska admits to $23,000 embezzlement.