COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available to ALL 12+!
Make Your Appointment Today.
COVID-19 Vaccines Now Available to ALL 12+!
Make Your Appointment Today.
Alaska Department of Health & Social Services Update:
The COVID-19 vaccine is available to all who are ages 12 and above.
Schedule your or your child’s appointment here:
Call the COVID Vaccine Helpline (Language Interpretation Available): (907) 646-3322
M-F: 9a – 6:30p
Weekends: 9a – 4:30p
Center for Disease Control and Prevention Update
If you’ve been fully vaccinated:
Dr. Anne Zink, Alaska’s chief medical officer and an emergency room physician, answers some frequently asked questions about the COVID-19 vaccine in the following video clips.
The following information is the latest from both the Centers for Disease Control and State of Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.
Stopping a pandemic requires using all the tools available. Vaccines work with your immune system so your body will be ready to fight the virus if you are exposed. Other steps, like masks and social distancing, help reduce your chance of being exposed to the virus or spreading it to others.
At first, the vaccine supply will be limited and offered only to certain groups. The Alaska Department of Health and Social Services has developed a vaccine distribution plan. The plan may change depending on the number of available doses. The Alaska COVID Vaccine Task Force is working with federal, state, Tribal, and military partners to plan for Alaska’s needs.
Does the vaccine have an impact on fertility?
How many vaccines are in development?
As of November 24, 2020, large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials are in progress or being planned for five COVID-19 vaccines in the United States.
How do COVID-19 vaccines work?
There are three main types of COVID-19 vaccines that are or soon will be undergoing large-scale (Phase 3) clinical trials in the United States. Below is a description of how each type of vaccine prompts our bodies to recognize and protect us from the virus that causes COVID-19. None of these vaccines can give you COVID-19.
New Approach to Vaccines
Within the next month, messenger RNA vaccines—also called mRNA vaccines—are likely to be some of the first COVID-19 vaccines authorized for use in the United States.
mRNA vaccines are a new type of vaccine to protect against infectious diseases. To trigger an immune response, many vaccines put a weakened or inactivated germ into our bodies. Not mRNA vaccines. Instead, they teach our cells how to make a protein—or even just a piece of a protein—that triggers an immune response inside our bodies. That immune response, which produces antibodies, is what protects us from getting infected if the real virus enters our bodies.
At the end of the process, our bodies have learned how to protect against future infection. The benefit of mRNA vaccines, like all vaccines, is those vaccinated gain this protection without ever having to risk the serious consequences of getting sick with COVID-19.
Sometimes after vaccination, the process of building immunity can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
Most COVID-19 Vaccines Require More Than One Shot
All but one of the COVID-19 vaccines that are currently in Phase 3 clinical trials in the United States use two shots. The first shot starts building protection. A second shot a few weeks later is needed to get the most protection the vaccine has to offer. One vaccine in Phase 3 clinical trials only needs one shot. It’s important to get the second dose for the COVID-19 vaccine to be effective.
How much will the vaccine cost?
The Alaska COVID Vaccine Task Force is working to ensure all Alaskans have access to the COVID vaccine at no charge. The CDC has stated that cost will not be an obstacle to getting vaccinated against COVID-19.
How do I know the vaccine is safe?
After a vaccine is authorized or approved for use, many vaccine safety monitoring systems watch for adverse events (possible side effects). This continued monitoring can pick up on adverse events that may not have been seen in clinical trials. If an unexpected adverse event is seen, experts quickly study it further to assess whether it is a true safety concern. Experts then decide whether changes are needed in U.S. vaccine recommendations. This monitoring is critical to help ensure that the benefits continue to outweigh the risks for people who receive vaccines.
Expanded Safety Monitoring Systems
The following systems and information sources add an additional layer of safety monitoring, giving CDC and FDA the ability to evaluate COVID-19 vaccine safety in real time and make sure COVID-19 vaccines are as safe as possible
Can the COVID-19 vaccine give me COVID?
No, vaccines cannot give someone COVID-19. None of the COVID-19 vaccines currently in development in the United States use the live virus that causes COVID-19. There are several different types of vaccines in development. However, the goal for each of them is to teach our immune systems how to recognize and fight the virus that causes COVID-19. Sometimes this process can cause symptoms, such as fever. These symptoms are normal and are a sign that the body is building immunity.
It typically takes a few weeks for the body to build immunity after vaccination. That means it’s possible a person could be infected with the virus that causes COVID-19 just before or just after vaccination and get sick. This is because the vaccine has not had enough time to provide protection.
Who gets the vaccine first?
At first, vaccine supply will be limited and offered only to certain groups. Many groups of experts are considering groups of people for early COVID vaccination. In Alaska this includes:
Will a COVID-19 vaccine cause me to test positive for the virus?
Vaccines currently in clinical trials in the United States will not cause you to test positive on viral tests, which are used to see if you have a current infection.
If your body develops an immune response, which is the goal of vaccination, there is a possibility you may test positive on some antibody tests. Antibody tests indicate you had a previous infection and that you may have some level of protection against the virus. Experts are currently looking at how COVID-19 vaccination may affect antibody testing results.
If I have already had COVID-19 should I still get vaccinated?
Due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible, people may be advised to get a COVID-19 vaccine even if they have been sick with COVID-19 before.
At this time, experts do not know how long someone is protected from getting sick again after recovering from COVID-19. The immunity someone gains from having an infection, called natural immunity, varies from person to person. Some early evidence suggests natural immunity may not last very long.
We won’t know how long immunity produced by vaccination lasts until we have a vaccine and more data on how well it works.
Both natural immunity and vaccine-induced immunity are important aspects of COVID-19 that experts are trying to learn more about.