Alaska leads with highest vaccination rate in the country

 

January 28, 2021 | View PDF



JUNEAU (AP) - Alaska held the enviable position of having the highest rate of Coronavirus vaccinations per capita in the nation as of this week, the state said.

As of Monday, more than 80,000 Alaskans had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and nearly 18,000 had received both doses, according to a report in the Anchorage Daily News. That does not include shots administered through the departments of Defense or Veterans Affairs but does include vaccinations handled through Indian Health Service partners.

That’s a gain in four days of 13,000 people from the Jan. 21 report of 67,000 Alaskans who had received their first dose.

Alaska Chief Medical Officer Anne Zink said Jan. 21 that the progress was the result of community efforts to quickly distribute vaccinations and additional allotments for federal agencies within the state.

Zink told the Juneau Chamber of Commerce that Alaska had received more doses of vaccine because of additional allowances above the state’s share for the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and Indian Health Service.

“We have the highest veterans per-capita population. We have a large military presence. And we have a large Indigenous population with over 229 sovereign tribes,” Zink said, as reported by Juneau public radio station KTOO. “And so, because of those reasons, we did get some additional vaccine in the state via those federal partnerships.”

The allotment for the Indian Health Service, which works with tribal entities to deliver health care to Alaska Native residents, could have been subtracted from the state’s share of the federal supply, but ultimately was allowed to be added to the deliveries to Alaska, Zink said.

“That’s been transformational for Alaska, that decision for Operation Warp Speed,” Zink said of the Trump administration’s name for the national vaccine distribution initiative.

 

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