“What I do is my business, and what the individual does is their business,” Bronson said. “I’m not here to tell people to wear masks or get vaccinated. My focus as a government leader is to provide the absolute best information that’s available.”
The last time case counts were this high, Anchorage’s city government had a mask mandate, and Gov. Mike Dunleavy’s administration required COVID testing for visitors. But even as cases spike again, officials aren't reinstating those measures, citing the vaccine's availability.
“This pandemic is clearly not over, and it is being driven primarily by people who are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Joe McLaughlin, Alaska’s state epidemiologist.
Alaska Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy has said his administration won’t require vaccine passports. But it is nonetheless getting ready to launch an online platform that Alaskans can use to look up and display their COVID-19 vaccination records.
The loosened guidance should make it easier to reopen schools and workplaces. Mask requirements are still in place for public transport and health care settings.
The authorization expands the pool of eligible vaccine recipients to about 87% of the total U.S. population, covering an additional 17 million children, and comes at a time when people under age 18 account for one 1 of every 5 newly reported coronavirus infections.
The federal Food and Drug Administration on Monday authorized use of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine for the age group. Now, the state is waiting for approval from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before it starts vaccinating children ages 12 to 15.
Until now, the Pfizer vaccine had been authorized only for people age 16 and older. Pfizer asked the FDA to broaden its emergency use authorization for the vaccine after announcing in late March that clinical trials found "100% efficacy and robust antibody responses" in study participants who were 12 to 15 years old.
Still, the CDC is urging all people — vaccinated or not — to continue avoiding medium or large gatherings, since it's still learning how well the vaccines work to curb the spread of the virus.
Health experts shared the information with school officials and administrators as they prepare for the end of the school year.
State and federal leaders have been trying to find ways to bring large ships back to the state this year. But summer is right around the corner.
In Anchorage’s COVID-19 economy, social media skills are essential for small business — but not everyone has them
Familia opened in May 2020. Their food has gained a strong following despite the pandemic.
Now the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's vaccine advisory committee is meeting again to discuss whether use of the vaccine should resume — and whether any warnings should accompany the shot.
Since December, Alaska has recorded just 3,000 wasted doses out of a total of 500,000 administered, for a loss rate of less than 1%. But those data also show a sharp increase in waste this month, with two-thirds of all the lost doses — 1,985 — coming since April 1.
Justin Ruffridge grew up in Soldotna and, as a conservative and a Christian, he's part of the same demographic as some of the COVID-19 vaccine’s biggest skeptics. He’s also a medical professional lends him a measure of credibility that elected officials and other government employees can lack.
State officials acknowledged that the U.S.’s relatively high vaccination rate compared with other countries could make Alaska’s offer attractive internationally.
Certain vaccine recipients getting their first dose will be entered into a drawing to win either $500 or $250.
Alaska officials detect case of COVID-19 strain first found in South Africa that’s less affected by vaccines
A single case of the variant, known as B.1.351, was detected last month in the Anchorage-Mat-Su area. Officials haven't said how the infected person acquired the virus, or whether others may have been exposed.
The Anchorage block has restaurants, a retail shop, office space and vacant storefronts. Together, they provide a view of how businesses have struggled, especially in the city's downtown core, as a multi-year recession glided into a pandemic.
A survey of Alaska lawmakers underscores the depth of the state's partisan vaccine divide in Alaska. All but one Democrat said they're getting the shot, while 20 of the 34 Republican lawmakers either refused to answer or did not respond.