COVID-19 vaccinations administered in Alaska surpass Alaska resident cases

by Alaska DHSS Staff

Alaska now counts more people who have been vaccinated with their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and reported into VacTrAK – the state’s immunization tracking system – than residents who have tested positive for COVID-19 whose cases have been entered into the state’s data dashboard.

Alaska is also currently ranked first among states for the percentage of people per capita who have been given at least one shot, according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker which pulls from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s database and state dashboards. Alaska’s per capita vaccination rate is 9.93 doses given per 100 people, according to Bloomberg. West Virginia is ranked second, with 8.94 doses per 100 people. Please note that this data is updated frequently, so please check the Bloomberg tracker for current statistics.

“The pandemic is not yet over, but we wanted to celebrate this milestone achievement in our fight to defeat COVID-19,” said Alaska’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Anne Zink. “We have teamwork and many Alaskans to thank for how quickly we’ve been able to vaccinate our most vulnerable residents. Alaskans are eager to receive this vaccine and end the pandemic. Our state is fortunate to have a strong network of community partners and providers across the state working together to distribute and administer vaccine as quickly, efficiently and equitably as we possibly can – fast and fair.”

Alaska’s vaccine monitoring dashboard counts 59,392 people in Alaska who have received their first dose of COVID-19 vaccine and 13,270 who have received both doses. Based on State of Alaska population estimates, this means 8.1% of all Alaskans have been reported receiving at least one dose of vaccine while 12,178 people, or about 1.8% of the state’s population, have completed two doses.

As of today, Jan. 20, Alaska’s COVID-19 data dashboard showed a total of 50,732 Alaska resident cases and 1,661 nonresident cases.

Two doses of COVID-19 vaccine spaced apart are required for full protection, as studied in clinical trials. It takes about two weeks after the second dose for your immune system to build up to full protection. Because the vaccines were not studied in children, the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is currently recommended for persons 16 years of age and older in the U.S. population under the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s emergency use authorization while the Moderna vaccine is recommended for people aged 18 years and older.

The vaccine dashboard includes people who have received state-allocated vaccine, and also those who received federally allocated vaccine from the Indian Health Service but not from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense.

Dr. Zink added that while it’s important to celebrate successes, now is not the time to let down our guard, especially as many Alaska communities continue to experience high rates of transmission and we are trying to prevent a more contagious variant of the virus from taking hold in Alaska.

“Until we can protect more people through vaccination, we can all – including those who have been vaccinated – help keep the virus under control,” she said. “Keep wearing masks, maintain physical distance from others, keep your social circles small, get tested if you feel sick or may have been exposed, and when it’s your turn to do so, please consider getting vaccinated.”

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