Alaska becomes first state to offer COVID-19 vaccine to anyone over 16

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Alaska has become the first state in the nation to allow anyone 16 or older to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

The move was announced Tuesday by Gov. Mike Dunleavy, and comes as the state was experiencing some unclaimed vaccine appointments.

Anybody over the age of 16 who lives or works in the state is now eligible to receive the vaccine.

“This does feel like a gigantic milestone in so many ways to get to the point where we can offer protection for anyone who wants it in the state,” Dr. Anne Zink, the state’s chief medical officer, said during a news conference with Dunleavy.

Despite the open slots, Alaska has led states in the percentage of its population to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Dunleavy said he respects those who do not want to get vaccinated, but addressing that group Tuesday, said: “I would ask that you give some due consideration.”

The state has reported about 57,300 resident COVID-19 cases and 301 related deaths since the start of the pandemic.

With Post wires

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