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SEARHC Encourages Youth Ages 16 and Older to Register for COVID-19 Vaccinations

Sitka – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) encourages patients age 16 and older to register online for COVID-19 vaccinations. Families are advised to sign up their eligible teens as soon as possible at covid19.searhc.org. Online registration is required for an appointment, and youth appointments are scheduled by phone as vaccine doses are received in their respective community.

“We are pleased to offer the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination to our young patients who are 16 to 18 years old with parental consent,” said Dr. Elliot Bruhl, SEARHC Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer. “The protection of our youths is an important step in ensuring the well-being of Southeast communities.”

Patients age 16 and older who are interested in receiving the vaccine are encouraged to register online now at covid19.searhc.org. A valid email address is required to sign up. Once a youth age 16-18 has registered online, SEARHC will call the patient to schedule a vaccination appointment as vaccine doses are received and clinics are calendared. At that time, parental consent will be required for patients who are minors.

“SEARHC recommends all eligible patients to register for the COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible,” said Dr. Bruhl. “In addition, it is critically important to continue wearing a mask, practicing social distancing and washing hands frequently, even after being fully vaccinated.”

The vaccine is 95% effective in protecting against becoming ill with COVID-19, but it may be possible for a vaccinated individual to transmit the virus to others. Ongoing COVID-19 safety protocols remain in place at all SEARHC facilities.

Due to the Pfizer vaccine’s need to be stored at an extremely low temperature, distributing it to the youth clinics may involve some lead time, and there is likely to be a wait after registering. SEARHC encourages families to sign up their eligible teens now so that they have a place in the queue as vaccines are delivered.

Vaccine doses are available with no out-of-pocket costs to the general public in communities throughout the Southeast region, and to beneficiaries and existing SEARHC patients in Juneau.

Individuals who have questions regarding the vaccines should contact their local SEARHC clinic. For more information, or to register for vaccination, visit covid19.searhc.org.