Updated Mar 9, 2021 - Health

Alaska 1st state to make COVID vaccine available to everyone over 16

Michael Dunleavy, governor of Alaska, speaks during an event on the South Lawn of the White House

Alaska Gov. Michael Dunleavy. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Alaska will allow anyone in the state over the age of 16 to get the COVID-19 vaccine, Gov. Michael Dunleavy (R) announced Tuesday night, adding the measure is "effective immediately."

Why it matters: Alaska is the first state to allow people under 18 to get vaccinated and the first to remove eligibility requirements.

Details: "The Pfizer vaccine is available to individuals who are 16 and older, while the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and Moderna vaccine are available to individuals who are 18 and older," per a statement from the governor's office.

  • This is in line with FDA recommendations.

Of note: Alaska last week made the vaccines available to people over 16 with a condition that puts them at risk for severe illness from COVID-19 or essential workers not covered by earlier provisions for the health, seniors and care sectors.

For the record: "Regions including Kodiak Island, the Petersburg Borough, and the Kusilvak Census Area are nearing or exceeding 90% vaccination rates among seniors," per the governor's office statement.

  • "In the Nome Census Area, over 60% of residents age 16 and over have received at least one shot, and roughly 291,000 doses have been administered statewide."

Editor's note: This article has been updated with new details throughout.

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