Alaska, a state on the west coast of the United States of America. Apart from being the largest U.S. state by area, Alaska is on almost everyone's travel bucket list. From outdoor activities to beautiful natural scenes, Alaska has everything that you want from a tourist place.
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So, if you are also the one who is missing out on visiting this place or you were planning to go here last year, but held your plan due to coronavirus pandemic, then there is good news for you. Alaska is open for travelers. However, if you are thinking that you have not taken COVID – 19 vaccine yet and how will you go to your favorite place, you also do not worry! Alaska is going to offer the vaccine to its tourists if they are not yet vaccinated.
Yes, you heard it right. The Governor of Alaska, Mike Dunleavy announced this. Starting from June 01, 2021, the state will offer the vaccine for COVID – 19 to its tourists. This will help to boost tourism in this state. The public health minister of Alaska, Heidi Hedberg, said that the state has sufficient vaccines and they are not delineating or settling aside the vaccines for the people of Alaska or the nonresidents. From June 1, Alaska will be opened up to vaccinate its tourists with the first dose of Moderna or Pfizer – BioNTech vaccine.
This U.S. state will offer free COVID-19 vaccines to its tourists this summer. The government of Alaska is taking this step to boost its tourism business that was hit hard due to general travel warnings and cruise bans because of the pandemic.
Starting from 01st June 2021, the tourists who are entering Alaska will be able to get vaccine jabs at the major airports of the state as stated by Governor Mike Dunleavy. The vaccine will be obtainable outside the security area of these four airports – Fairbanks, Juneau, Anchorage, and Ketchikan. Presently, the vaccines are available for people who are more than 16 years old.
The Alaskan Governor further said that they want their fantastic travel industry including their cruise ships and hospitality get an opportunity to get back to where they were before the pandemic – COVID – 19. The actual idea is when they have excess vaccines, why should not they use them. So what the government of Alaska is saying to its tourists is that if they come to Alaska, they get a free vaccination if they want one.
The vaccination centers at the airport will provide the first dose of Moderna and Pfizer – BioNTech vaccines as per the director of public health, Heidi Hedberg at the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services. She further stated that the state will not differentiate residents and tourists when allocating the supply of the vaccine.
Hedberg stated that they know when someone comes to Alaska he/she may not stay for 28 days or 21 days, but they are offering the first dose. Adding to this she said that if a traveler stays longer, he/she can get the second dose of the vaccine at any site in Alaska. Anyone who is traveling through or in Alaska can also get the vaccine if he/she wants.
At Anchorage airport, the state will start with a soft rollout of the vaccine from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. for five days.
So far, 39.1% of Alaskans are fully vaccinated, whereas 47.1% have taken at least one jab of vaccine as per the state’s Department of Health and Social Services Coronavirus Response Hub, however, Dunleavy further stated that the state is 'leveling off' of those who want to get the vaccine.
In providing vaccination to the tourists, Dunleavy said that it gives another reason to the people to visit this state this summer. At present, those who are traveling to Alaska are not needed to get tested for coronavirus before arrival.
The decision of Alaska’s government to offer the vaccine to its visitors comes soon after the tourism ministry of Maldives said that it would also do the same. The Maldives has got the vaccines from China, India, and the Covax program of the World Health Organization and it has ordered more doses from Singapore.
The Final Words!
In the year 2019, more than 52,000 people of Alaska were dependent on the income from tourism. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this was hit hard and probably this is the reason why the government of Alaska has taken this decision of offering the vaccine to the tourist. The result of this decision will be visible only after June 2021, but it is a good initiative to fight the coronavirus. If more and more states take such decisions, more and more people may get the jab and can keep themselves safe.