Alaska becomes 1st US state to open vaccines to anyone 16 and older

FILE - In this Sept. 27, 2019, file photo, Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy speaks at a news conference in Anchorage, Alaska. Dunleavy on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, announced that the COVID-19 vaccine is available for all individuals who live or work in Alaska and are age 16 and older, making Alaska the first state in the nation to remove eligibility requirements. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)

JUNEAU, Alaska (AP) — Gov. Mike Dunleavy says Alaska has become the first state to drop eligibility requirements and allow anyone 16 or older who lives or works in the state to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Dunleavy made the announcement Tuesday following his own bout with COVID-19.

He hailed the move to open up eligibility as a historic step.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 Vaccine Tracker shows Alaska leading states in the percentage of its population to have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine.