Alaska to offer COVID vaccines in airports

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This December 2020 photo provided by Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation, Village Service Chief Dr. Elizabeth Roll holds a COVID-19 vaccine in Napakiak, Alaska. Getting the vaccine to the world’s farthest corners means delivering it by boat to Maine’s islands, traveling by snowmobile to villages in Alaska and navigating complex waterways in Brazil’s Amazon. (Yukon Kuskokwim Health Corporation via AP)

JUNEAU, Alaska (NEXSTAR) – Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy says COVID-19 vaccines would be made available at key airports in the state starting June 1.

He made the announcement Friday, as he unveiled plans aimed at bolstering Alaska’s pandemic-battered tourist industry.

“I’m announcing today that any tourist coming into Alaska this summer at our major airports will be able to get a COVID vaccine free of charge,” he wrote in a statement on Twitter.

Dunleavy, a Republican, outlined plans for a national marketing campaign aimed at luring tourists and said the vaccine offering is “probably another good reason to come to the state of Alaska in the summer.”

Dunleavy and other state leaders have been pushing to allow large cruise ships to return to Alaska after COVID-19 restrictions kept them away last year.

There have been 525,000 COVID vaccine doses administered in Alaska, where 31.8% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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