Ketchikan is projected to have enough vaccines to inoculate about half of the adult population by the end of the month.

The Southeast Regional Health Consortium, better known as SEARHC, is sending 1,500 doses to Ketchikan to help get the job done.

Ketchikan emergency manager Abner Hoage told Ketchikan’s City Council  Thursday that the shipment from SEARHC is larger than the community’s allotment from the state.

“We’re scheduled to get another roughly 1,000 doses of vaccine in March from our state allocations. On top of that Walmart gets their allocation through the federal pharmacy partnership. So that comes outside of that 1,000 doses,” Hoage told the council.

Ketchikan Indian Community’s clinic is scheduled to receive another 200 or so doses on top of that this month. And those are all first doses — Hoage says that second doses are taken into account.

He says the community’s allocation for March will also include a few doses of the recently-authorized Johnson & Johnson vaccine which only requires a single dose. But he says most of this month’s allocation will be two-dose vaccines.

So far, about 30% of the 11,000 or so people over age 16 in Ketchikan’s borough have gotten at least one shot. Hoage says The 2,500-plus new doses would be enough to push that figure to around half the population.

“So really, really good news. So we’re gonna see a big increase … this month,” Hoage said.

About three quarters of  Ketchikan’s over-65 population have been at least partially vaccinated. The state recently expanded eligibility to include everyone over 55, plus all essential workers and people with certain high-risk medical conditions.

And that’s not the only positive pandemic news — Ketchikan officials on Thursday lowered the community’s risk level from “moderate” to “low.” . The community saw just two cases of COVID-19 in the week leading up to the reduction in risk level.