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Infectious Disease
COVID-19

Get vaccinated

Vaccines are designed to prepare your immune system to fight diseases caused by virus or bacteria. A vaccine works by introducing the body to the disease in a safe way, allowing the immune system to develop strategies to defeat it.

COVID-19 vaccine

At this time, a COVID-19 vaccine is not yet available. For more information and updates about the availability this vaccine, visit the COVID-19 Vaccine webpage.

Alaskans are encouraged to continue measures of mask wearing, hand washing, physical distancing and observing guidance from state and local health officials to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Flu vaccine

The flu vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, but protection against the flu is more important than ever this year:

  • Getting a flu vaccine can save healthcare resources for the care of patients with COVID-19.
  • Flu vaccines have been shown to reduce the risk of flu illness, hospitalization, and death. A 2018 study showed that from 2012 to 2015, flu vaccination among adults reduced the risk of being admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with flu by 82 percent.

September and October are good times to get vaccinated against the flu. If you can’t get the flu vaccine in September or October, you haven’t missed your opportunity. Flu vaccine is still available well into 2021.

There will be plenty of free flu vaccine available throughout the state – DHSS has ordered extra vaccine to ensure widespread protection.

Childhood vaccines

While the COVID-19 pandemic has complicated family schedules, it’s important for parents to work with their children’s doctor or nurse to prioritize their children stay up to date on routine vaccines. Children who are not protected by vaccines may be more likely to get diseases like measles and whooping cough.

If your child has fallen behind on routine shots, call your health care provider. Now is an ideal time to catch up. Many medical offices are taking extra steps to make sure that well visits can happen safely during the COVID-19 outbreak, including:

  • Scheduling sick visits and well-child visits during different times of the day
  • Asking patients to remain outside until it’s time for their appointment to reduce the number of people in waiting rooms
  • Offering sick visits and well-child visits in different locations

Learn more about childhood vaccinations

References

“Influenza Vaccine Effectiveness in Preventing Influenza-Associated Intensive Care Admissions and Attenuating Severe Disease among Adults in New Zealand 2012-2015”, by Mark G. Thompson, PhD, Nevil Pierse, PhD, Q. Sue Huang, PhD, Namrata Prasad, MPH, Jazmin Duque, MPH, E. Claire Newbern, PhD, Michael G. Baker, MD, Nikki Turner, MD and Colin McArthur MD. DOI: (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0264410X18309976?via%3DihubExternal ).