March 5, 2024

Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy (R-AK) speaks at the White House in Washington, DC on July 16, 2020 during a regulation rollback event to all Americans on the South Lawn on July 16, 2020 at the White House Help Washington, DC

Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images

Alaska became the first state on Tuesday to make Covid vaccines available for ages 16 and older to anyone aged 16 or older who work or live in the state.

“This historic move marks another nationwide first for Alaska,” said Governor Mike Dunleavy in a statement, adding that he “couldn’t be more proud” of Alaska’s response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Alaska’s move comes as other states introduce vaccines for higher-risk populations such as the elderly, frontline workers, and those with underlying illnesses.

The state health department has reported a total of 57,304 residents, 2,461 nonresident cases, and 301 deaths.

Alaska began administering gunshots to health care workers and nursing home residents in December before the rating was gradually expanded.

The state says it has given more than 290,000 doses to date, with at least 119,000 people fully vaccinated. This means that approximately 23.6% of Alaska’s population received at least one dose and 16.4% were fully vaccinated, according to the state vaccine dashboard.

The governor’s office noted that some regions are already reaching 90% vaccination rates among seniors.

“A healthy community means a healthy economy. With vaccinations widely available to all Alaskans who live or work here, we will no doubt see our economy grow and our businesses thrive,” said Dunleavy.