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COVID-19 vaccine available to anyone in Alaska age 16 and up

Don't try to travel there: Only people who live or work in the state can get a vaccine.
Credit: 10 Tampa Bay

JUNEAU, Alaska — Most anyone who wants a COVID-19 vaccine in the state of Alaska now can get one.

Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced Tuesday that effectively immediately, the state is removing all eligibility requirements to get a COVID-19 vaccine. There remains a minimum age requirement, however, based upon the Food and Drug Administration's Emergency Use Authorization for each vaccine.

One still has to live and work in the state, too, but officials no longer are focusing on older or high-risk populations.

The two-dose Pfizer vaccine is available to people age 16 and older, while the two-dose Moderna shot and single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine are available to those age 18 and older.

Just more than a quarter of Alaska's population has been given one dose, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine tracker. About 16 percent of the state's population is considered fully vaccinated.

"This historic step is yet another nationwide first for Alaska, but it should come as no surprise. Since day one, your response to the pandemic has been hands-down the best in the nation," Dunleavy said in a statement. "I couldn’t be prouder of Alaska’s response. From being the first state to offer widespread testing, to maintaining one of the lowest mortality rates in the country, to rolling out vaccinations to every willing Alaskan, we got here by working together."

About 18.4 percent of the U.S. population has received at least one dose, while 9.7 percent of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.

The country is averaging about 2.15 million doses a day, according to the New York Times' latest count, in the ongoing effort to vaccinate the public against the coronavirus.

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