Return to Alaska COVID-19 Vaccine Homepage

COVID-19 Vaccine Information for all Alaskans 

Updated September 24, 2021

On this page:

Who should get vaccinated now

Who can get the vaccine now?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone in Alaska who is age 12 or older. Pfizer vaccine is authorized for ages 12 and up. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and up.

Should I get vaccinated if I already had COVID-19?

Yes. Not enough is known about how long natural immunity from COVID-19 illness might last and protect you from becoming re-infected and spreading the illness to others. Even if you have already been infected, vaccination is an important step to protect yourself and those around you.

Can I get a COVID-19 vaccine if I've recently received the flu vaccine, or any other vaccine?

Yes, it is safe to receive a COVID-19 vaccine at the same time as other vaccines.

If I have an underlying medical condition, can I get vaccinated?

Yes, people with underlying medical conditions can receive a COVID-19 vaccine as long as they have not had an immediate or severe allergic reaction to a COVID-19 vaccine or to any of the ingredients in the vaccine. Vaccination is an important consideration for people with certain underlying medical conditions because they are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.

If I am moderately or severely immunocompromised, should I receive an additional dose of COVID vaccine?

CDC recommends that people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised receive an additional dose of an mRNA COVID-19 Vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna) at least 28 days after completion of the initial mRNA COVID-19 vaccine series. New studies show some people who are immunocompromised had a reduced immune response to the initial COVID-19 vaccine series. This includes people who have:

  • Active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies
  • Receipt of a solid-organ transplant and taking immunosuppressive therapy
  • Receipt of CAR-T-cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within 2 years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy) Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids (≥20mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blockers, and other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.

Information for parents/guardians, pregnant and breastfeeding people

Which COVID-19 vaccine can my child get?

The COVID-19 vaccine is available to anyone age 12 or older. Pfizer vaccine is authorized for ages 12 and up. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccines are authorized for ages 18 and up.

Can children get the COVID-19 vaccines at their pediatricians' offices, as well as other locations?

Many private health care providers do offer COVID-19 vaccines. Check for availability near you at covidvax.alaska.gov or vaccines.gov.

Why should I vaccinate my child?

Vaccination gets our kids back to the programs, activities and social interactions they need for appropriate academic, social-emotional and physical development. Vaccinated people who have been exposed to the virus also do not need to quarantine or be tested unless they have symptoms or live in a group setting (like a group home).

Parents can protect their children from needing hospitalization or having long-lasting COVID-19 symptoms. Medical science has proven that other vaccines keep dangerous diseases and viruses away from our children. The COVID-19 vaccines are no different.

Will children receive the same COVID-19 vaccine dose as adults?

Clinical trials evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vaccine dosage for different age groups. Children ages 12 and older receive the same vaccine dose as adults.

Can my child receive other vaccinations at the same time as the COVID-19 vaccine?

COVID-19 vaccines and other vaccines may be given at the same time , including the flu shot. This is a great way to get up-to-date on any immunizations children may have missed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If I am pregnant or breastfeeding, can I get vaccinated?

Alaskans who are pregnant or breastfeeding are recommended to get a COVID-19 vaccine. COVID-19 vaccines are unlikely to pose a risk to pregnant people or their babies. To speak to someone about COVID-19 vaccination during pregnancy, you can contact MotherToBaby. MotherToBaby experts are available to answer questions in English or Spanish by phone or chat. The free and confidential service is available Monday - Friday 8am - 5pm (local time). To reach MotherToBaby:

  • Call 1-866-626-6847
  • Chat live or send an email MotherToBaby

Can the COVID-19 vaccine cause infertility?

There is no evidence that COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.

Planning for and scheduling your appointment

What do I need to do to schedule my second dose of vaccine?

The healthcare provider who gives you your first dose will give you instructions for scheduling your second dose. If you need assistance making a second dose appointment, please contact the call center at 907-646-3322 or toll-free at 1-833-482-9546 from 9 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. on weekdays, and 9 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. on weekends.

Will I have a choice in which vaccine I can get?

Many vaccination clinics note on the website which vaccine is being offered. You may select a clinic site that has your preferred vaccine.  

Which vaccine should I get?

It is recommended that you get the first vaccine you are offered, since the sooner a person is vaccinated, the sooner they are protected against COVID-19 illness. Please consult with your health care provider if you have concerns about receiving a specific vaccine.

Safety

Are COVID-19 vaccines safe?

COVID-19 vaccines are safe. Over 386 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been given in the United States since December 2020. The vaccines were evaluated in thousands of participants in clinical trials and safety checks are ongoing to ensure the vaccines are safe.

Learn more about the V-safe after-vaccination health checker and how to report side effects in the Vaccine Safety Application V-Safe Information Sheet (PDF).

Efficacy

Are COVID-19 vaccines effective?

Yes, the COVID-19 vaccines are effective. A safe and effective COVID vaccine is an important tool for ending the global pandemic. Vaccines can protect individuals in different ways. Vaccines also protect the people around you - including Alaska's healthcare workers and their patients.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) authorizes vaccines after they pass several clinical trials. Scientists are using clinical trials to test the COVID vaccine's effectiveness. These clinical trials require thousands of people and months of data.

I read an article suggesting that the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine is less effective in Alaska Native people.  Is there reliable scientific evidence to back this up?

No. We don't have any reason to think that the Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine is any less effective in Alaska Native people than any other racial group. The Johnson and Johnson Janssen vaccine is safe and effective. The reported vaccine efficacy among people in this racial group in the phase 3 clinical trial for this vaccine included fewer than 200 Alaska Native/American Indian people in the United States. This number is too small to draw any meaningful conclusions about vaccine efficacy.

Health advisories

Will there be a COVID-19 vaccine mandate?

There are no plans for a statewide Alaska COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

Cost

How much will the vaccine cost?

COVID-19 vaccines are provided at no cost to you, regardless of your insurance policy.

Vaccination providers can be reimbursed for vaccine administration fees by the patient's public or private insurance company or, for uninsured patients, by the Health Resources and Services Administration's Provider Relief Fund. No one can be denied a vaccine if they are unable to pay a vaccine administration fee.

About Alaska's vaccination effort

How many Alaskans are vaccinated?

View the Alaska dashboard summary below, or see the full vaccine dashboard.

Travel

If I get vaccinated do I have to comply with health advisory for travel?

It is recommended to comply with the requirements of Health Advisory 3, Intrastate Travel, or Health Advisory 2, International and Interstate Travel. Fully vaccinated travelers may choose to get tested prior to travel.

What to expect after you are vaccinated

After I get vaccinated, do I need to continue COVID-19 precautions like distancing and wearing a mask?

CDC has released guidance stating that those who are fully vaccinated may gather with other people who are fully vaccinated in a small private setting without social distancing or wearing a mask. Even if it has been two weeks since your final COVID-19 vaccination, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations. This includes wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart, avoiding crowds, and following travel and workplace guidance. These vaccines are excellent at protecting the person who gets immunized from hospitalization or death, but we are still learning how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease. 

If I am fully vaccinated, what will change for me?

You are considered fully vaccinated 2 weeks after your second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or 2 weeks after your dose of Janssen's vaccine. When you are fully vaccinated, you generally do not need to wear a mask in outdoor settings. Consider wearing a mask in crowded settings or in public indoor spaces if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. If you have been exposed to someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to quarantine or get tested unless you have symptoms. Review the complete updated guidelines at the CDC website.

Will I receive documentation that I was vaccinated?

You will receive a vaccine record card from your healthcare provider. 

How do I get a replacement vaccination card?

If you need a copy of your immunization record, including your COVID-19 vaccinations, please print out this Immunization Request Form (PDF) and mail or fax it to the Alaska Immunization VacTrAK program, which keeps track of the immunization records for Alaskans. Instructions on how to return the form are at the bottom of the form. Please include a copy of a supporting document that identifies the person requesting the immunization record.

What are the common side effects of COVID-19 vaccines?

After getting vaccinated, you might have some side effects, which are normal signs that your body is building protection. Common side effects are pain, redness, and swelling in the arm where you received the shot, as well as tiredness, headache, muscle pain, chills, fever, and nausea throughout the rest of the body. These side effects could affect your ability to do daily activities, but they should go away in a few days.

Who can get a Pfizer booster dose?

Many Alaskans who are at the highest risk for COVID-19 are eligible to receive a Pfizer booster dose. The CDC made the final recommendation for certain populations to receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 Vaccine at least six months after the second dose of their Pfizer vaccine series.

CDC recommends:

  • people 65 years and older and residents in long-term care settings should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;
  • people aged 50 to 64 with certain underlying medical conditions should receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series;
  • people 18 to 49 who are at high risk for severe COVID-19 due to certain underlying medical conditions may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks; and
  • people aged 18-64 years who are at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission because of occupational or institutional settinng (PDF) may receive a booster shot of Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine at least 6 months after their Pfizer-BioNTech primary series, based on their individual benefits and risks.

Pfizer booster doses are only recommended for certain individuals who have received 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine. ACIP did not vote on mixing/matching of different COVID-19 vaccine products. There is not enough information yet available to make additional recommendations for other populations or people who got the Moderna or Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Resources to support you

Alaska COVID-19 vaccine information pages

Hear the latest about vaccine in Alaska