Alaska Hopes Free COVID Vaccines Will Bring Visitors : NPR

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“What we wish to do is ensure that our incredible vacationer trade, together with the cruise ships, together with our hospitality in our ancillary companies, have a chance to get again to the place they have been,” Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy stated

Becky Bohrer/AP


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Becky Bohrer/AP


“What we wish to do is ensure that our incredible vacationer trade, together with the cruise ships, together with our hospitality in our ancillary companies, have a chance to get again to the place they have been,” Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy stated

Becky Bohrer/AP

Adventurous vacationers journey to Alaska for numerous delights, together with the state’s plentiful wildlife, glowing glaciers, and dazzling northern lights.

Now officers are providing one other attraction: free COVID-19 vaccines.

It is a part of an effort to jump-start a floundering summer time tourism trade that is been devastated by the pandemic’s cruise bans and journey warnings. Officers hope the added incentive of a COVID-19 vaccine will entice guests.

As of June 1, anybody aged 12 and older from wherever world wide can get a vaccine in Alaska. The pictures are available at any of the state’s main airports, Gov. Mike Dunleavy introduced throughout a information convention on Friday.

“What we wish to do is ensure that our incredible vacationer trade, together with the cruise ships, together with our hospitality in our ancillary companies, have a chance to get again to the place they have been,” Dunleavy stated

The Alaska Tourism Trade Affiliation stories that in 2019, greater than 52,000 Alaskans — one in 10 — relied on tourism for his or her earnings. That very same 12 months, vacationers spent roughly $2.2 billion {dollars} within the state.

Dunleavy added: “The thought is that if we’ve extra vaccines, why not use them? So what we’re saying to our vacationers is… in case you come to Alaska, you get a free vaccination if you’d like one.”

As of Wednesday, 53% of residents had acquired at the very least one jab of the dose, whereas 46% have been absolutely vaccinated.

Heidi Hedberg, the director of public well being on the Alaska Division of Well being and Social Companies, stated airport vaccination clinics will supply a dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines to anybody who asks for one.

“We acknowledge that when people come as much as Alaska, they might not keep for 21 days or 28 days… however we’re providing that first dose,” Hedberg stated.

Ought to they select to remain longer, they can even be eligible for a free second dose, she added.

Mayowa Aina of Alaska Public Media in Anchorage contributed to this story.

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