Industry Update: Vaccine Distribution
Great news to end the year!
The Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is now available in Alaska, and the Food and Drug Administration will likely approve the Moderna vaccine for distribution shortly.
The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services is recommending current travel and health mandates stay in place until more people have access and choose to get vaccinated. Vaccinated or not, travelers must still comply with Health Order 8, Intrastate Travel and Health Order 6, International and Interstate Travel.
Alaska's COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Advisory Committee, following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP), has developed a tiered plan for vaccine distribution. At first, vaccine will be available to people in these groups:
- Hospital-based front-line healthcare workers;
- Long-term care facility residents and staff;
- EMS/fire personnel providing emergency medical services;
- Community Health Aide/Practitioners; and
- Individuals who are required to perform vaccinations
While the vaccine helps protect individuals, it is unclear whether or not vaccinated people can still spread the virus. Alaska still has high case levels in our communities, and DHSS is asking Alaskans to continue to practice safe health practices.
The ATIA team is supporting the State of Alaska's vaccine task force by responding to general vaccine questions via our current COVID-19 hotline as well as supporting traveler inquiries. We are providing feedback to DHSS about questions travelers may have related to vaccines and how travel-related mandates might be updated moving forward.
Questions? Visit the DHSS Vaccine Information website, the COVID-19 Traveler Information page on TravelAlaska.com, the COVID-19 information page on AlaskaTIA.org, or contact the COVID Information Hotline.