DHSS expands eligibility for people to get COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska

Published: Mar. 3, 2021 at 11:01 AM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - If you are 55 and above, an essential worker, a person with certain medical conditions, or live in a multigenerational house, you are now eligible to get a COVID-19 vaccine in Alaska.

According to the Department of Health and Social Services, the state’s vaccine task force expanded the criteria for who is eligible to get the vaccine.

“Like the sun, there’s a lot of vaccine coming in, a lot of sun coming in the spring,” Dr. Zink said. “We’re just excited to have more people vaccinated as quickly as possible.”

The new eligible group includes people ages 55 to 64, anyone over 16 that is an essential worker as defined by the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, those who are at high-risk or might be high-risk for severe COVID-19 illness according to the CDC and people who live in a multigenerational household or “unserved communities.”

According to DHSS, multigenerational households include three or more generations or a grandchild living with an elder. A community where homes have a lack of water or sewer system would be defined as an “unserved community.”

“Expanding the vaccine eligibility to reach more people is significant in protecting Alaskans and in getting Alaska reopened and our economy back up and thriving,” said Gov. Mike Dunleavy.

For the month of March, the state is expecting 103,120 first doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine and 8,900 doses of the one-shot Johnson & Johnson Janssen vaccine over the next two weeks.

“We have a good quantity of vaccine in Alaska for March but not enough yet to make it widely available to anyone who wants it,” said Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer. “While vaccine supply remains limited, we are offering it to groups who have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.”

People who are eligible to get a vaccine can call 907-646-3322 or visit the state’s website to book an appointment.

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