A new group of Alaskans will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine, beginning this Thursday. Think you might be eligible for a shot? Here’s who is part of the next group and how to sign up, according to state officials.
Who is eligible beginning Thursday:
Anyone 50 and older and has certain high-risk medical conditions, listed by the state:
• Chronic kidney disease
• Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
• Down syndrome
• Heart conditions like heart failure, coronary artery disease, cardiomyopathies
• Immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant
• Sickle cell disease
• Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes
Certain “essential workers” 50 years and older who work within 6 feet of others, including those who work in:
• Law enforcement, public safety, and other first responders
• Education (including people not covered in Phase 1B Tier 2)
• Food and agriculture sector such as food manufacturers, distributors, restaurant workers, seafood workers and grocery store workers
• Energy sector including electricity, petroleum, natural gas, utility and power workers
• Water and wastewater
• Transportation and logistics like public transit workers, aviation workers, taxi drivers, port workers, bus drivers, U.S. Postal Service workers and mail carriers and warehouse operators
• Public works and infrastructure support service
• Critical manufacturing
• Communications and information technology
• Other community-or government-based operations and essential functions
• Critical manufacturing
• Hazardous materials
• Financial services
• Defense industrial base
• Commercial facilities
• Residential/shelter facilities, housing and real estate and related services
• Hygiene products and services
Education staff of all ages, including:
• Child care workers and support staff (e.g. custodial, food service and transportation)
• Educators for pre-K through 12th grade and support staff
• Indigenous language and culture bearers
• Acute psychiatric facilities
• Correctional settings
• Group homes for people with disabilities or mental and behavioral health conditions
• Homeless and domestic violence shelters
• Substance misuse and treatment residential facilities
• Transitional living homes
Pandemic response staff who may come into contact with the coronavirus during outbreak response activities
Top health officials have also said that anyone previously eligible for vaccine will continue to eligible for a shot, including:
• All Alaskans 65 and older
• Residents and staff at long-term care facilities
• Essential or hospital-based health care workers
If I’m eligible, how will I be able to sign up?
Beginning Thursday, you can visit covidvax.alaska.gov, or anchoragecovidvaccine.org, or call 907-646-3322 — the number is staffed 9 a.m.-6:30 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. on weekends — to sign up and to confirm eligibility.
Health officials say that due to limited vaccine availability, not everyone in the newly eligible group will be able to sign up right away.
But keep checking back — especially on Thursdays, which is when providers are being asked to release additional appointments.
In Anchorage, newly eligible residents will be able to sign up via the state site for a vaccine clinic offered by the Anchorage School District for appointments Feb. 11-13, according to a statement from the district.
And in Juneau, a clinic will be held Feb. 11-12 at Centennial Hall. Those appointments can be made online at juneau.org/vaccine or by calling 907-586-6000 to make an appointment.
Walmart is also expected to begin offering appointments through the state’s website on Thursday.
Many Alaskans may also qualify for separate vaccine allocations distributed and managed by Alaska’s tribal health system, from a local Veterans Affairs office, or the federal department of defense.
If you receive services through these providers, contact your local organization to learn more about COVID-19 vaccine eligibility.
Additionally, many local communities have their own clinics and scheduling protocols. You can always reach out to your local public health center with questions.