Alaska became the first state in the United States to allow people 16 years old and up without medical conditions to sign up for the COVID-19 vaccine, NPR reports.

  • Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy said the decision to expand vaccination was a “game changer.” 
  • “A healthy community means a healthy economy,” Dunleavy said. “With widespread vaccinations available to all Alaskans who live or work here, we will no doubt see our economy grow and our businesses thrive.”
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According to NPR, the Pfizer vaccine is available to those 16 and older. The Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccines are available to those 18 and up.

Context:

Per The Washington Post, some states have expanded eligibility but not as much as Alaska has done. For example, Ohio residents 50 years old and older could start reserving appointments for the vaccine. Indiana and West Virginia have also opened up eligibility for those 50 and up.

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Similarly, Gila County, Arizona, opened up vaccine eligibility to everyone because it didn’t want the vaccines to go to waste, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

Bigger picture

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19 vaccine data tracker said more than 123 million vaccine doses have been distributed in the U.S., and about 93.5 million shots have been administered.