JUNEAU, Alaska – Alaska became the first state to drop eligibility requirements for Covid-19 vaccines And allowing anyone 16 years of age or older who lives or works in the state to get vaccinated, Governor Mike Donlevi said Tuesday.
The governor made the announcement after his match with Covid-19, which he described as a nuisance and said it confirmed his desire to get vaccinated. He said he was not severely ill but did not want to “be put in the house again,” or affect his family or perhaps spread the virus to others.
He described expanding eligibility for vaccines in Alaska as a “game-changer”, especially with the approaching summer tourism season and as the country seeks to rebuild its pandemic-torn economy.
He said he respects those who do not wish to get vaccinated and wants to pass on his personal experience to those considering vaccination. The Republican said, “I would like to ask you to give some due consideration.”
Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, said officials are seeing open dates for a vaccine and want to work to allow as many people who want a vaccine to get it. She said more appointments would be added as the vaccine would be transported across the state and additional doses introduced.
“This sounds like a formidable milestone in many ways to get to the point where we can provide protection to anyone who wants it in the state,” Zink said during a press conference with Dunlevi.
Alaska led states in the percentage of its residents who received two doses of the Covid-19 vaccine, according to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention the COVID-19 vaccine.
Last week, the state dramatically expanded eligibility to include those between the ages of 55 and 64 and those aged 16 or over who have been classified as primary workers, are at risk of contracting severe disease from Covid-19, or who live in. Multigenerational families or communities that lack water. Or sewage systems.
Groups from previous levels included health care workers, those ages 65 and older, and teachers.
Two of the approved vaccines require two doses. The third, requiring one shot, is thrown.
The state has reported about 57,300 resident Covid-19 cases and 301 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.