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Infectious Disease

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Vaccine Eligibility

Updated January 14, 2021

Those who are eligible to get vaccinated right now include:

  • Alaskans age 65 and above 
  • Healthcare workers (see eligibility criteria below for details)
  • Long-term care residents and staff (see eligibility criteria below for details)

Vaccine managed by  the Alaska Tribal Health System, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) and the U.S. Department of Defense may have different eligibility criteria. Vaccine doses will be distributed throughout Alaska in a series of phases. Over time, everyone who wants to be vaccinated will be able to get vaccinated.

On this page:

Who is eligible now?

Phase 1b
Tier 1

  • Persons aged 65 years and older

Phase 1a
Tier 3

Workers in health care settings who meet all of the following criteria:

  • Have direct human patient contact, or have direct contact with infectious materials from patients, AND
  • Provide essential services in a hospital, clinic, home, or community-based setting that cannot be offered remotely or performed via telework; AND
  • Provide essential health care service in a health care setting that cannot be postponed without serious negative impact to the patient's health

Phase 1a
Tier 2

Phase 1a
Tier 1

Who is eligible next?

Phase 1b
Tier 2

Not yet open. Timeline to be determined.

Phase 1b
Tier 3

Not yet open. Timeline to be determined.

Phase 1b
Tier 4

Not yet open. Timeline to be determined.

Who will be eligible later?

Learn more

We’re working to provide additional information, as it becomes available. Vaccine supply is very limited at first, and it will gradually be available to more Alaskans over time. Alaska uses a phased approach to make the vaccine available. The State of Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Allocation Guidelines (PDF) explain the process.

Provide input

More information about the meeting, and how to provide comment, is available at the Alaska Vaccine Allocation Advisory Committee webpage.

Eligibility Footnotes

Phase 1b definitions

1. Frontline essential workers are defined as people who are working in sectors essential to the functioning of society and are at substantially higher risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2 because their work-related duties must be performed on-site and involve being in close proximity (<6 feet) to the public or to coworkers.

  • Education (PreK–12 educators and school staff, childcare workers and support staff, including Indigenous language and culture educators);
  • First responders and public safety personnel, including state troopers, public safety officers, police, firefighters, and Office of Children’s Services staff and public health workers in direct contact with individuals and families not vaccinated in Phase 1a;
  • Food and agriculture (e.g., seafood, food distributors);
  • Grocery store workers;
  • Public transit workers, including rural aviation workers serving communities defined as essential air services, and rural cab service workers;
  • U.S. Postal Service workers and contract rural postal workers including mail planes;
  • Utility and power workers – rural communities; and
  • Water and wastewater – rural communities
  • Note: Essential air services are those defined by the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • Note: Rural is defined as communities with a population less than 10,000 and off the road system. The “road system” is defined as any community connected by a road to the Steese, Elliot, Dalton, Seward, Parks, Klondike, Richardson, Sterling, Glenn, Haines, or Top of the World Highways.

    2. Examples of such congregate living settings include the following:

    • Acute psychiatric facilities;
    • Correctional settings;
    • Group homes for individuals with disabilities, including serious mental illness, developmental and intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, or substance use disorders;
    • Homeless and domestic violence shelters;
    • Substance misuse and treatment residential facilities; and
    • Transitional living homes

      3. Adults of any age with the following conditions are at increased risk for severe COVID-19–associated illness: cancer; chronic kidney disease; chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD); Down Syndrome, heart conditions, such as heart failure, coronary artery disease, or cardiomyopathies; immunocompromised state (weakened immune system) from solid organ transplant; obesity (body mass index [BMI] ≥30 kg/m2 but <40 kg/m2); severe obesity (BMI ≥40 kg/m2); sickle cell disease; smoking; type 2 diabetes mellitus; and pregnancy.

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      4. An unserved community is a community where ≥45% homes have not been served either via pipe, septic tank and well, or covered haul system.

      ^ Back to Who is Eligible Next

      Phase 1a definitions

      1. Long Term Care facilities included Skilled Nursing Facilities, Assisted Living Homes, and Dept of Corrections infirmaries providing care that is similar to an assisted living facility.

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      2. Particularly those performing the highest risk procedures or who spend extended periods of time bedside and whose absence from work would compromise the ability of the hospital to continue functioning. Personnel in this category include, but are not limited to:

      • ICU and COVID unit nurses, LPNs, CNAs and patient care technicians

      • ICU and COVID unit physicians

      • Inpatient physicians caring for COVID patients, including hospitalists

      • Respiratory therapists

      • Emergency department personnel

      • Personnel working in operating and other procedural rooms in which aerosol generating procedures are conducted.

      • Other hospital staff working in COVID units such as PT/OT/ST therapists, phlebotomists, etc.

      • Environmental services personnel

      • Facility security personnel

      3. Particularly those personnel whose absence from work would compromise the ability of these critical medical services to continue. This Tier includes personnel in certified ground-based and air medical services. This Tier also includes community health aides/health workers providing EMS services.

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      4. Workers in health care settings are eligible in Phase 1a only if they meet all criteria in a given tier. If a worker in a health care setting provides services that do not meet all the criteria in a specific tier will be eligible to receive the vaccine in a future phase. The terminology “workers in health care settings” is used instead of “healthcare workers or personnel” to guide health care organizations distributing the vaccine to consider the full spectrum of workers who meet these criteria. Health care organizations should evaluate all position types and duties to identify those who meet all three criteria regardless of where the work is performed (e.g., ambulatory, direct patient care, support services) or the employment status of the worker (e.g., contracted, part-time, paid or unpaid). Special attention should be paid to workers in health care settings who are at high-risk for exposure and may have inconsistent or limited use of PPE and those working in settings with inadequate environmental controls for recommended air exchange. (High-Risk Health Workers as defined in the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine 2020 Framework for Equitable Allocation of COVID-19 Vaccine. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. Pages 113-117.)

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