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A Shot in the Arm for Alaska Tourism

In order to help Alaska’s suffering tourism industry, Governor Mike Dunleavy is making Covid vaccinations available to all Alaska visitors starting June 1st, free of charge.

Alaska has reported a surplus of vaccines after making them available to all residents 16 and older in March. According to Public Health Director Heidi Hedberg, “We are not setting aside or delineating vaccine for Alaskans or nonresidents. Right now, what we’re saying is: ‘Today’s the day, Alaskans. Please get educated. Please get vaccinated,'” she said. “And starting June 1st, it’s going to be opened up for those tourists.”

Governor Dunleavy revealed plans to offer shots at Anchorage, Fairbanks, Juneau, and Ketchikan airports at clinics set up outside the security area. This will allow unrestricted access to visitors and residents alike.

Alaska’s tourism industry relies heavily on summer cruises, and while the governor and other state leaders push to allow the ships to return, offering free vaccines should attract some visitors to make up the difference. They also acknowledge that combined with the relatively high vaccination rate in the U.S., this initiative could even attract some international interest.