Jasmin Smith | Community Leader

Hear how Jasmin Smith, Community Advocate, overcame her hesitations with the vaccine and #VaxedUp.

“Getting the vaccine was worth it. I can hug my friends and family, without hesitation.

Jasmin Smith

Mao Tosi | Former NFL Athlete and Community Advocate

Mao Tosi, former NFL athlete and Community Advocate, spoke with us on why he will do his part to #ConquerCOVID and #VaxUp.

“The more of us who get vaccinated, the sooner we can fully re-open our economy and communities. And get back to church!”

Mao Tosi

“I will get the vaccine because I want to see my friends and loved ones.”

Mao Tosi

Kara Moriarty | President & CEO of AOGA

Hear from Kara Moriarty, President & CEO of AOGA, on why reopening our economy and protecting her family were key to her decision to receive the vaccine. #VaxUp

“For me, making the decision to get vaccinated was simple. The sooner more Alaskans do the same, the sooner we can fully reopen Alaska’s economy.”

Kara Moriarty

Cordelia Kellie | Community Advocate

Cordelia, a Community Advocate, spoke with us on why she will #VaxUp to be able to return to her traditions.

“Getting the vaccine means being a step closer to hugging my elders again.”

Cordelia Kellie

Julie Saupe | President & CEO of Visit Anchorage

Hear from Julie Saupe, President & CEO of Visit Anchorage, on why you should receive the vaccine. #VaxUp

“High vaccination rates are helpful in enticing visitors.”

Julie Saupe

“The vaccine is critical in re-opening our economy.”

Julie Saupe

More Personal Stories

Valerie Davidson | Alaska Pacific University

“The great part about being an Alaskan is we do our part to protect those around us… even those we don’t know.” We couldn’t have said it any better Valerie! #VaxUp #ConquerCovid

“I’m much better off than I would be if I hadn’t been vaccinated.”

Valerie Davidson

Conquer COVID Coalition encourages everyone to get vaccinated

KTUU |March 12, 2021

Alaska races against time and history to fight the virus in the most remote villages.

The New York Times | March 8, 2021

Author: Mike Baker and Serge F. Kovaleski

In Alaska, where the Indigenous population has been ravaged by global disease outbreaks for generations, the pandemic has killed Alaska Natives at quadruple the rate of white residents.

The virus has taken hold in remote communities, setting up an urgent race between infections and vaccinations during a season in which weather can limit travel, the sun may only wink above the horizon, and large, multigenerational families are crowded indoors.

When the pandemic began a year ago, Alaska’s isolation was an asset that provided villages an opportunity to set up lockdowns, testing requirements and controls on travel.

But as the virus has slowly seeped across the state, the rising infections have demonstrated how quickly isolation can turn into a liability. In Pilot Station, a 37-year-old man died after weather prevented a medevac plane from reaching him. The virus has raged in some communities that have minimal sanitation, in some cases infecting more than 60 percent of residents.

Yet thanks to the steady supply of vaccines available to Native Alaska tribes and a sprawling delivery effort involving bush planes, boats, sleds and snowmobiles, 16 percent of the population has received a second dose of the vaccine, the highest in the nation. One of the regional operations, Operation Togo, harks back to the grueling 1925 sled dog run that rushed diphtheria antitoxin across the state to an outbreak in Nome.

The villages also have resources they lacked a century ago, when the 1918 flu wiped out more than half of some communities. A network of tribal health aides provide frontline health care and critical testing, treatment and telemedicine links with faraway hospitals — a network being considered for replication in the Lower 48.

But with the vaccine, there are extra challenges: Health crews must coordinate flights out to villages and arrange for someone to pick them up at the runway by vehicle or snowmobile. They need to make sure someone has started up the wood stoves to warm up the tribal halls where shots will be administered.

One team recently landed in a village as the temperature hit 61 below.

Southcentral Foundation opens vaccine appointments to Alaskans 40 and older, K-12 educators and child care workers

Anchorage Daily News | March 1, 2021